Can foot drop be cured without surgery?

| Advanced Physiotherapy
Can foot drop be cured without surgery?


Foot drop is a condition where individuals find it difficult or impossible to lift the front portion of their foot. This difficulty arises due to a miscommunication between the brain and the ankle muscles responsible for dorsiflexion. One of the most effective treatments for foot drop involves rehabilitative exercises targeting these specific ankle muscles. Consistently and repetitively performing these exercises can help rewire the brain and improve dorsiflexion. So, can foot drop be cured without surgery? The answer is a resounding yes. With the right rehabilitative exercises and interventions, significant improvement, if not complete recovery, is possible. It is essential to consult a doctor or therapist to determine which foot drop treatments are most effective for you.

Understanding Foot Drop

Foot drop typically results from weakness or paralysis on one side of the body, usually due to a brain or nerve condition. In some cases, an injury to the nerves in the leg can also cause foot drop. Common causes include:

  • Stroke: A stroke can damage the brain's motor pathways, affecting the ability to lift the foot.
  • Neck or Spinal Cord Injury: Damage to the spinal cord or nerves in the neck can disrupt signals to the foot.
  • Sciatica: Compression of the sciatic nerve can lead to foot drop.
  • Peroneal Nerve Injury: This lower leg nerve is crucial for lifting the foot.
  • Transverse Myelitis: Inflammation of the spinal cord can cause foot drop.
  • Multiple Sclerosis: This condition can damage the nerves controlling foot movement.

Treatment Without Surgery

Treatment for foot drop may include braces, splints, and physiotherapy.

Braces or Splints

Wearing a brace or splint on the ankle and foot can help hold the foot in a normal position, making walking easier and preventing tripping.

Physiotherapy Treatment for Foot Drop

Physical therapy exercises are crucial for managing foot drop and improving strength and function. Here are some effective at-home exercises:

Hip External and Internal Rotation

These exercises focus on strengthening the muscles around the hip joint, which can improve foot and ankle control during walking and other activities.

Standing Hip External Rotation

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and place a resistance band around both ankles.
  • Keep your knees slightly bent and maintain an upright posture.
  • Slowly rotate one leg outward, away from the body's midline, against the band's resistance.
  • Hold briefly, then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, then switch to the other leg.

Supine Hip Internal Rotation

  • Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Place a small ball or cushion between your knees.
  • Squeeze the ball or cushion with your inner thigh muscles, moving your knees closer together.
  • Hold the contraction for a few seconds, then release and repeat.

Hip Rotation Slides

  • Sit on the edge of a chair with feet flat on the floor.
  • Keep your back straight and engage your core muscles.
  • Lift your affected leg slightly off the ground, keeping the foot relaxed.
  • Slowly rotate your hip inward, as if bringing your knee towards the opposite leg.
  • Hold the inward rotation for a few seconds, then return to the starting position.

Single Leg Stance

Practicing single-leg stance can help foot drop patients work on several essential aspects, such as balance, stability, and muscle strengthening.

Single Leg Stance

  • Stand on one leg, maintaining your balance.
  • This exercise challenges the muscles responsible for stability, helping prevent falls and enhancing confidence during daily activities.
  • Regular practice can strengthen the muscles in the affected leg and ankle, which may have weakened due to foot drop.


Foot drop can be effectively managed and potentially cured without surgery through dedicated physiotherapy and rehabilitative exercises. These exercises focus on strengthening the muscles, improving flexibility, and enhancing overall function. It's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to develop a tailored treatment plan that suits your specific needs. With the right approach, individuals with foot drop can see significant improvements in their ability to lift their foot and perform daily activities with greater ease and confidence.

“At Arunalaya Healthcare, we pride ourselves on being the best physiotherapy center in Delhi. Our dedicated team of experts offers top-notch physiotherapy treatment tailored to your needs. Experience the difference with Arunalaya, the leading physiotherapy clinic in Delhi area. Our commitment to excellence ensures that you receive the best physiotherapy care possible. Trust Arunalaya Healthcare for the best physiotherapy treatment in Delhi. Our advanced physiotherapy solutions set us apart as the premier choice for your rehabilitation needs. When it comes to physiotherapy, Arunalaya Healthcare stands out as the best in Delhi. Experience superior physiotherapy services at Arunalaya Healthcare, your trusted partner in wellness. Choose Arunalaya Healthcare for comprehensive physiotherapy solutions that deliver results. At Arunalaya Healthcare, we are dedicated to providing the highest quality physiotherapy care in Delhi. Visit Arunalaya Healthcare today and discover why we are the best physiotherapy center in Delhi.”

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