The peroneal nerve is on the outer part of the lower knee. This nerve sends impulses to and from the leg, foot, and toes. If it is damaged, the muscles may get weak and feeling may be lost. Foot drop may happen. This is when you can’t raise the foot.
This injury is often caused by an injury to the leg.
This can happen with:
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Too much pressure on the nerve can happen with:
Your risk may be raised with:
You may have:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. An part of your exam will be checking how well your nerves and muscles are working in your leg. Your doctor may want to watch you as you walk.
You may need:
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. You may have:
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 done. This involves taking pressure off the nerve.
To lower your chance of a peroneal nerve injury:
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
The Canadian Orthopaedic Association
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 2016. Accessed June 23, 2018.
NINDS foot drop information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Foot-Drop-Information-Page. Accessed June 23, 2018.
Stewart JD. Foot drop: where, why and what to do? Pract Neurol. 2008;8(3):158-169.
Last reviewed June 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD Last Updated: 6/23/2018