Peroneal neuropathy

Mamatha Pasnoor MD (Dr. Pasnoor of the University of Kansas Medical Center has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.)
Randolph W Evans MD, editor. (Dr. Evans of Baylor College of Medicine received honorariums from Allergan, Avanir, DepoMed, and Pernix for speaking engagements and honorariums from Alder, Lilly, and Promius for advisory board membership.)
Originally released November 21, 1997; last updated January 9, 2017; expires January 9, 2020

This article includes discussion of peroneal neuropathy, lateral popliteal mononeuropathy, lateral popliteal nerve injury, lateral popliteal nerve palsy, peroneal mononeuropathy, peroneal nerve injury, and peroneal nerve palsy. The foregoing terms may include synonyms, similar disorders, variations in usage, and abbreviations.

Overview

This update provides additional information on usefulness of ultrasonography in the diagnosis of peroneal neuropathy.

Key points

 

• Peroneal mononeuropathy is the most common entrapment neuropathy in the lower extremity.

 

• Peroneal mononeuropathy presents with foot drop, sensory loss on dorsum of foot and lateral leg, and, rarely, pain.

 

• The most common etiology is external compression and trauma.

 

• Electrodiagnostic studies are useful for localization and assess the severity of peroneal neuropathy. High-resolution sonography also helps with assessment of peroneal neuropathy.

Historical note and terminology

The most common entrapment neuropathy in the lower extremity is common peroneal mononeuropathy at the fibular head. This syndrome can occur in both adults and children and also, rarely, in the neonate. Almost all patients presenting with common peroneal neuropathy will present with foot drop. Although the most common site of nerve entrapment is the fibular head, other sites within the calf, ankle, and foot may result in a portion of a common peroneal neuropathy syndrome.

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