Foot Drop

What Is Foot Drop?

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Foot drop is a term that is used to describe the dropping of the foot or inability to raise your foot. There are many causes of foot drop including stroke, Charcot Marie Tooth Disease (CMT), diabetic neuropathy, multiple sclerosis (MS) and injury to the back or the peroneal nerve in the leg.

When you are unable to lift your foot, it drops downwards and becomes a hazard for catching, tripping and falling. You will therefore compensate by lifting your knee higher and by flexing more at your hip and knee to clear the ground.

The extra effort required to swing your leg forward and lift your knee and foot higher often causes you to tire quickly due to the increased energy expenditure.


In order to make walking safer and more efficient, people will often turn to orthotic interventions. The particular design and style of bracing orthosis is dependent on the exact needs of the individual. 

Signs & Symptoms
  • an audible “foot slap” as the person is unable to control the foot hitting the ground so the foot slaps the floor
  • a high steppage gait with knees lifting higher during each step
  • tripping
  • falling
  • dragging the foot

Our Treatment Options

Flexible Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO)

AFOs provide ankle stability and control of ankle motion to prevent tripping.

Hinged Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO)

AFOs provide ankle stability and control of ankle motion to protect the feet.  The hinge allows for a controlled motion at the ankle.

Silicone Ankle Foot Orthoses (SAFO)

The SAFO supports the front of your leg down to the top of your foot, using a soft silicone material.

Boxia Foot Drop Brace

Boxia Drop Foot Brace

The Orliman Boxia foot drop brace provides a “lift” to the foot so that it does not catch on the ground when swinging the foot through.  It is useful for people who have multiple sclerosis, a nerve injury,  Charcot Marie Tooth or other cause of a flaccid foot drop.

Carbon Fibre AFO

Carbon Fibre AFO

The Otto Bock Walk On AFO is an example of a ready made AFO that works to stop the foot from dropping.  It allows the foot to clear the ground and helps to prevent tripping.  The carbon fibre design makes is quite light and easy to use for people that have good stability but have lost the ability to lift the toes.


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