Superficial Peroneal Nerve Entrapment with Rehab

Superficial peroneal nerve entrapment is an injury to the nervous system in the foot and ankle. The condition is caused by an increase in pressure placed on the superficial peroneal nerve, which causes pain and loss of feeling in the ankle and foot.

Peroneal Nerve Entrapment Symptoms

  • Signs of nerve damage in the area of the leg above the ankle or the top side of the foot including:
  • Pain.
  • Numbness.
  • Tingling.
  • Loss of feeling.
  • Pain that worsens with ankle function

Peroneal Nerve Entrapment Causes

Superficial peroneal nerve entrapment is caused by the ligament-like tissue (fascia) of the lower leg placing pressure on the superficial peroneal nerve approximately 4 to 5 inches above the ankle joint. Common mechanisms of injury include:

  • Direct trauma to the ankle.
  • Recurrent ankle injury.
  • Compartment syndrome.

Risk Increases with:

  • Previous ankle injury.
  • Activities that involve running on uneven terrain or landing awkwardly from a jump.
  • Pressure from an external source (for example boots that are too tight).
  • Poor strength and flexibility.


  • Warm up and stretch properly before activity.
  • Maintain physical fitness:
  • Strength, flexibility, and endurance.
  • Cardiovascular fitness.
  • Wear properly fitted and padded equipment (for example, ski boots).


If treated properly, then superficial peroneal nerve entrapment may resolve with nonsurgical (conservative) treatment. However, surgery is often necessary to eliminate symptoms.

Related Complications

  • Recurrent symptoms that result in a chronic problem.
  • Inability to compete in athletics.

Peroneal Nerve Entrapment Treatment

Treatment initially involves resting from any activities that aggravate the symptoms and the use of ice and medications to help reduce pain and inflammation. If the condition is caused by external pressure, then wearing padding (for example, moleskin) over the lower leg above the ankle may provide some relief. The use of strengthening and stretching exercises may help reduce pain with activity. These exercises may be performed at home or with referral to a therapist. If the symptoms f superficial peroneal nerve entrapment persist despite conservative treatment, then surgery may be necessary to release the pressure on the nerve.

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