Common Peroneal Nerve Entrapment

Peroneal nerve entrapment occurs when there is injury or compression of the nerve, usually at the region of the fibula head on the outside of the knee.

A drawing of where common peroneal pain can be felt in the knee Common Peroneal Nerve Entrapment

Common Peroneal Nerve Entrapment Symptoms

Main symptoms include burning and tingling on the outside and front section of the shin and top of the foot which worsens with walking or squatting. Other symptoms include tenderness upon palpation of the outside of the knee, walking abnormalities due to muscle weakness such as toe dragging, inability to lift foot up when walking and making a slapping sound when walking due to foot hitting the ground too quickly.

Common Causes

  • Habitual leg crossing.
  • Tight plaster cast.
  • Knee Surgery.
  • Biomechanical mis-alignment
  • Regularly wearing knee high boots.
  • Pressure on the knee during deep sleep or coma.
  • Trauma or injury involving the lateral knee and or fibula.
  • Severe weight loss reduces the fat pad overlying the fibula head causing more pressure on the peroneal nerve.
  • Internal compressors i.e. ganglia, Baker Cysts, exostosis and vascular abnormalities.

Treatment for Common Peroneal Nerve Entrapment

  • RICE – rest, ice, compression & elevation
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs  (Nurofen etc)
  • Orthotics
  • Splint or Air Cast Boot
  • Surgery

What can you do?

  • Avoid leg crossing for long periods of time
  • Avoid regular use of knee high boots
  • See podiatrist to have alignment checked
  • Have an ultrasound to determine that no cysts or ganglia are present.

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