Is It Normal to Experience Foot Drop After Nerve Damage?


Quick Answer

Someone with damage to the peroneal nerve might experience foot drop, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Foot drop is another name for peroneal nerve injury, a neuromuscular disorder that sometimes is a symptom of nerve compression or a herniated disc. Foot drop is characterized by an inability to lift the foot at the ankle.

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The peroneal nerve is connected to the sciatic nerve and influences the muscles in the leg that control upward movement of the ankles and toes, explains John Hopkins Medicine. Some of the symptoms of peroneal nerve injury include pain, numbness of the shin or foot, restricted mobility of the toes and difficulty walking. Nerve specialists usually diagnose the condition through electrical testing and magnetic resonance imaging.

Damage to the spinal cord causes some peroneal nerve injuries, explains Johns Hopkins Medicine. Several diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease cause foot drop. Peroneal nerve injury also is sometimes caused by hip replacement complications, knee dislocations or fractures, or joint dislocations or fractures.

Peroneal nerve injury often is treated with physical therapy and orthotics, states Johns Hopkins Medicine. Some cases of peroneal nerve injury require surgery. Several surgical procedures such as decompression surgery, nerve sutures, nerve grafting or nerve transfer are options for treatment..

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