Drop foot, also known as foot drop, describes the inability to lift the foot. This inability most notably affects walking, causing the foot to drag and/or slap down on the floor during walking.
Drop foot is caused by a problem with the peroneal nerve which sends messages to the muscles that lift the foot. Problems with the nerve may be a symptom of a wide variety of health conditions or diseases.
Typical causes of drop foot are direct compression of the peroneal nerve, side effects of diabetes or chemotherapy, a pinched nerve in the lower back, stroke, or multiple sclerosis. Drop foot can be temporary or permanent, depending on the cause. An orthosis may be used to support the foot during walking.