Foot Drop : Differentials

Foot drop can result from:

  1. L5 radiculopathies
  2. Lumbar plexopathies
  3. Lesions of the lumbosacral trunk of the lumbosacral plexus
  4. Sciatic neuropathies
  5. Common peroneal neuropathies
foot drop
L5 radiculopathyLumbar plexopathySciatic neuropathyPeroneal neuropathy
CausesDisc herniation, Spinal canal stenosisPelvic surgery, hematoma, prolonged laborHip surgery, Injection injuryCompression/trauma
MotorWeakness includes muscles and hip abductorsWeakness includes hip abductors and anal sphincterWeakness includes tibial and hamstring musclesWeakness restricted to peroneal muscles
Ankle inversionWeakWeakNormal or weakNormal
Plantar flexionNormalNormalNormal or weakNormal
Toe flexionWeakWeakNormal or weakNormal
Ankle jerkNormal (Weak with S1 involvement)Normal (Weak with S1 involvement)Normal or depressedNormal
Sensory lossPoorly demarcated, predominantly big toeL5 dermatomeLower 2/3 of lateral leg and dorsum of footLower 2/3 of lateral leg and dorsum of foot
PainCommon, radicularCommon, may be radicularCan be severeRare

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