Foot drop is a gait abnormality leads to dropping of the forefoot happens due to weakness, irritation or damage to the common fibular nerve along with the sciatic nerve, or paralysis of the muscles in the anterior part of the lower leg.
Foot drop is characterized by the steppage gait. While walking, people suffering the condition drag their toes along the ground or bend their knees to lift their foot higher than usual to avoid the dragging. This serves to raise the foot high enough to prevent the toe from dragging and prevents the slapping.
Foot drop is the result of neurological disorder; only rarely is the muscle diseased or nonfunctional. The source for the neurological impairment can be central or peripheral. Foot drop occurs rarely because of a pathology involving the muscles or bones that make up the lower leg.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) conducts research related to the neurological conditions that cause foot drop in its laboratories at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and also supports additional research through grants to major medical institutions across the country.