Peroneal Nerve Entrapment
Peroneal nerve arises from a branch of the sciatic nerve (present at thigh region) that surrounds the fibula. Fibula is the bone situated at the calf muscle which joins together with another bone called the tibia to form the knee joint. Peroneal nerve provides sensation and movement (stretching and lifting) to the leg, knee, feet, and toes. The most commonly observed condition of the peroneal nerve is 'Peroneal Nerve Entrapment' a condition caused due to compression of the peroneal nerve near the head of fibula, located below the knee. Conditions that compress the peroneal nerve include habitual leg crossing, braces around the nerve area, prolonged immobility which is observed in patients under anesthesia, fractures, knee surgery, tumors, trauma, and sciatic nerve lesions. The common symptoms are burning sensation in knee, numbness in the lower part of the body, pain, inflammation, loss of sensation in the peroneal nerve, paralyzed ankle, and weakness in lifting up the knee.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and electrodiagnostic studies are used to diagnose and locate the nerve entrapment.
Your doctor may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids for temporary relief. Corticosteroids are injected into the affected region to reduce swelling.
Neurosurgery is conducted to decompress the nerve situated at the fibular head. Surgery is performed to treat patients with tumor, masses or ganglion cysts affecting the peroneal nerve. The goal of surgery is to remove the compression from the nerve and ensure that the fibula does not compress the peroneal nerve again. Neurosurgery for peroneal nerve entrapment is not associated with major complications however infection at the site of surgery is common and can be treated by use of antibiotics. Patients who have undergone the surgery should avoid physical activities, and standing and walking for long hours.
Nerve grafting is also used as a surgical treatment option if the nerve is severely damaged or severed.
Peroneal nerve entrapment can be prevented by controlling blood sugar levels in cases of diabetes, avoiding alcohol and tobacco consumption, and adopting healthy lifestyle habits such as a healthy diet, regular physical exercise, and avoid using cramped sitting postures.