Peroneal Nerve Injury
The peroneal nerve is found on the outside part of the lower knee. This nerve is responsible for transmitting impulses to and from the leg, foot, and toes. When damaged, the muscles innervated by the nerve may become weak and sensation may be lost. A condition called foot drop can occur. Foot drop is the inability to raise the foot upwards.
A peroneal nerve injury is commonly caused by an injury to the leg.
Trauma to the nerve can occur with:
- Broken leg bone
- Knee injury
- Surgery to leg or knee
- Ankle injuries
|Peroneal Nerve Damage After Ankle Injury and Repair|
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Prolonged pressure on the nerve can occur with:
- Sitting position
- Cast on lower leg, particularly if it is too tight
- Blood clots, tumors, or other masses
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. An important part of your physical will be checking how well your nerves and muscles are working in certain parts of your leg. Your doctor may want to watch you as you walk.
Tests may include the following:
- MRI scan
- Electromyography (EMG) or other nerve conduction tests
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Options include the following:
A therapist will work with you to strengthen your leg and foot muscles.
An ankle and foot brace is used to treat foot drop.
In some cases, surgery is used to treat a peroneal nerve injury. Surgical involves taking pressure off the nerve (decompressive surgery).
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke http://www.ninds.nih.gov
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
The Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Mononeuropathies. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic-disorders/peripheral-nervous-system-and-motor-unit-disorders/mononeuropathies. Updated September 2012. Accessed July 19, 2013.
NINDS foot drop information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/foot%5Fdrop/foot%5Fdrop.htm. Updated January 29, 2009. Accessed July 19, 2013.
Stewart JD. Foot drop: where, why and what to do? Pract Neurol. 2008;8(3):158-169.