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UR Medicine / Neurosurgery / Services / Peripheral Nerve Surgery Program / Conditions / Peroneal Nerve Entrapment/Injury

 

Peroneal Nerve Entrapment/Injury

What causes peroneal nerve entrapment/injury?

Peroneal nerve entrapment most often occurs when the peroneal nerve is pinched within the fibular head (the top of the smaller bone in your lower leg, near the outside of the knee). It can also become entrapped within the hardware placed during orthopedic surgeries, such as a knee replacement. Other causes of peroneal nerve dysfunction include tumors within the nerve or trauma/injury to the nerve (blunt force, stabbing, gunshot wound).

Who is at risk for peroneal nerve entrapment/injury​?

  • Those with a knee injury
  • Trauma to the outer area of the knee
  • Fracture of the fibula
  • Certain autoimmune conditions
  • Conditions that damage nerves such as diabetes or alcohol abuse

What are the symptoms of peroneal nerve entrapment?

  • Burning, numbness, and/or shooting pain along the outside of the lower leg into the top of the foot
  • Unable to lift foot up (foot drop, slap foot)
  • Ankle weakness
  • Muscle loss of the lower leg

How is peroneal nerve entrapment/injury diagnosed?

How is peroneal nerve entrapment/injury treated?

Nonsurgical

NSAIDs, ankle-foot orthotic (AFO) brace, physical therapy

Surgical

  • Peroneal nerve decompression: removes pressure on the nerve allowing it to heal
  • Nerve graft: if the peroneal nerve has been cut (penetrating trauma), a small piece of another nerve (most commonly the sural nerve) can be used to connect the two ends of the peroneal nerve back together