foot drop

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foot drop

Loss of the ability to bend the ankle so that the foot rises. This may be due to disorders of the lower spinal cord or of the nerves to the muscles that flex the ankle. Foot drop seriously interferes with walking. A foot brace may be necessary.

foot drop

paralysis/weakness of all or some extensor/dorsiflexor lower-leg muscles (i.e. tibialis anterior, extensor hallucis longus, extensor hallucis brevis, peroneus tertius) due to upper or lower motor neurone lesions (see Table 1), or traumatic severance of common peroneal nerve at neck of fibula, causing loss of dorsiflexion during gait; deceleration at heel contact is lost, the foot 'flaps' into contact with the ground surface, and toes drag against the floor during swing phase of gait; ambulation is assisted by use of an ankle-foot orthosis (AFO), preventing uncontrolled ankle joint plantarflexion
Table 1: Effects of damage to upper and lower motor neurones
Upper motor neurone lesionLower motor neurone lesion
ParalysisSpastic-type contractureFlaccid-type contractures may develop
Tendon reflexesExaggerated; hyperreflexiaReduced/absent; hyporeflexia
Plantar responseExtensor (Babinski's sign positive)Flexor (= normal; Babinski's sign negative)
Extraneous muscle activityNo fasciculations/fibrillationsFasciculations and fibrillations