How is equinovarus deformity differentiated from peripheral neuropathy as the etiology of foot drop?

Updated: Mar 23, 2020
  • Author: James W Pritchett, MD; Chief Editor: Vinod K Panchbhavi, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Several neurologic defects can cause foot drop. Equinovarus deformity associated with toe contracture is the most common lower-extremity manifestation of stroke. This can be differentiated from a peripheral neuropathy on examination by eliciting hyperactive deep tendon reflexes and a positive Babinski sign. The patient’s gait pattern can also suggest the etiology. For example, patients with a paretic foot drop bear weight on the heel during initial foot strike, whereas those with a spastic deformity strike with the forefoot.


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