Foot Drop/Common Peroneal Nerves
Common peroneal nerve dysfunction is damage to the peroneal nerve leading to loss of movement or sensation in the foot and leg.
Dysfunction of a single nerve, such as the common peroneal nerve, is called a mononeuropathy. Mononeuropathy means the nerve damage occurred in one area. However, certain body-wide conditions may also cause single nerve injuries.
Damage to the nerve destroys the myelin sheath that covers the axon (branch of the nerve cell). Or it may destroy the whole nerve cell. There is a loss of feeling, muscle control, muscle tone, and eventual loss of muscle mass because the nerves aren’t stimulating the muscles.
- Trauma or injury to the knee
- Fracture of the fibula (a bone of the lower leg)
- Use of a tight plaster cast (or other long-term constriction) of the lower leg
- Crossing the legs regularly
- Regularly wearing high boots
- Pressure to the knee from positions during deep sleep or coma
- Injury during knee surgery or from being placed in an awkward position during anesthesia
Exams and Tests
- Loss of muscle control in the lower legs and feet
- Atrophy of the foot or foreleg muscles
- Difficulty lifting up the foot and toes and making toe-out movements
Tests of nerve activity include
What other tests are done depend on the suspected cause of nerve dysfunction, and the person’s symptoms and how they developed. Tests may include blood tests, x-rays and scans.
Corticosteroids injected into the area may reduce swelling and pressure on the nerve in some cases.
- The disorder does not go away
- You have problems with movement
- There is evidence that the nerve axon is damaged
The outcome depends on the cause of the problem. Successfully treating the cause may relieve the dysfunction, although it may take several months for the nerve to grow back.