A peroneal nerve injury is damage to the nerve on the outer part of the lower knee. This nerve sends impulses to and from the leg, foot, and toes. Damage can cause weakness, numbness, and pain. It may also make it hard for a person to lift their foot.
The nerve may get injured due to:
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Too much pressure on the nerve can also cause this problem. This can happen due to:
Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
Problems may be:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the leg.
Pictures of the leg may be taken. This can be done with:
The nerves and muscles may be tested. This can be done with electromyography (EMG) or other nerve conduction tests.
Treatment depends on what has caused the injury. Options are:
People who are not helped by other methods may need surgery. It may take pressure off the nerve.
To lower the risk of a peroneal nerve injury:
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
The Canadian Orthopaedic Association
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 October 6, 2020.
Mononeuropathies. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic-disorders/peripheral-nervous-system-and-motor-unit-disorders/mononeuropathies. Accessed October 6, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD Last Updated: 5/25/2021