Foot drop is a symptom rather than a diagnosis and your doctor will want to understand what has caused it. Investigation for the cause of foot drop may include:
- X-rays. Plain X-rays may be used to look for a soft tissue growth or a bone abnormality that may be causing your symptoms.
- Ultrasound. This may be used to check for cysts or tumours that may be pressing on the nerve.
- Computed tomography (CT) scan. This can be used to look for growths (masses) or other changes anywhere in the body.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI is particularly useful in visualising soft tissue lesions that may be compressing a nerve, such as a prolapsed disc (slipped disc) in the back. It can also examine the brain for the characteristic lesions of multiple sclerosis.
- Electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies. These measure electrical activity in the muscles and nerves to look for the location of the damage along the affected nerve.