Can a nerve compression cause drop foot?

Yes it can.  The nerve that supplies the muscles that go to the foot to help the foot move upwards during walking can become compressed from numerous causes and cause foot drop.  If this happens, you may notice a weakness in bringing your foot up when walking, an increase in instability in your foot, the feeling of falling, or even notice an increased noise caused by the foot slapping down to the ground instead of the normal slow progression.  This is known as foot slap and is what some people complain of.

The nerve that can be compressed and cause these problems is the Common Fibular Nerve, previously known as the Common Peroneal Nerve.  You may have experienced temporary compression of this nerve if you have ever gotten up from sitting in a chair and your foot was asleep.  After a few seconds-minutes the sensations came back and all was fine again.  If the compression of this nerve does not go away, the foot drop is likely.

The earlier the diagnosis is made and treatment started, the better the results are if you have drop foot or weakness during gait.  Dr. Danciger can evaluate the different nerves of the lower extremities and determine which, if any are causing the problem.   Call the office at 760-568-0108 for an appointment

Dr. Harvey Danciger
Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle