Foot and ankle problems usually fall into the following categories:
- Acquired from improper footwear, physical stress, or small mechanical changes within the foot.
- Arthritic foot problems, which typically involve one or more joint.
- Congenital foot problems, which occur at birth, are generally inherited.
- Infectious foot problems, which are caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal disorders.
- Neoplastic disorders, usually called tumors, which are the result of abnormal growth of tissue and may be benign or malignant.
- Traumatic foot problems, which are associated with foot and ankle injuries.
"Foot drop” refers to the inability to lift the front part of one’s foot off the ground when walking, resulting in a scuffing or dragging of the foot or lifting the thigh (known as “steppage” gait). It is most often caused by nerve or muscle disorders or damage, or by a central nervous system disorder.
Foot drop is usually diagnosed by physical examination, although additional testing may be recommended in some cases. Treatment may include use of braces, physical therapy, and electrical nerve stimulation. In some cases surgery may be required.