Common peroneal neuropathy is a type of nerve disorder that can cause weakness or numbness in your lower leg. It usually affects the common peroneal nerve, which runs along the outside of your knee toward your ankle and foot. Without proper treatment, common peroneal neuropathy can get worse over time and lead to significant pain and disability. Consult with Dr. Williams to find out if nerve decompression is an option for you to consider.
Symptoms and Causes of Common Peroneal Neuropathy
Common peroneal neuropathy is a condition in which the nerve that runs down the back of your lower leg becomes compressed or damaged near the knee joint. This nerve helps control movement in your foot and ankle, so when it becomes compressed or damaged, it can cause a range of symptoms such as:
- Foot drop
In some cases, people with this condition also have trouble walking or standing for long periods of time.
Causes of Common Peroneal Neuropathy
Common peroneal neuropathy can be caused by any number of factors. A common cause of the condition is nerve damage after knee replacement surgery. It can also be caused by the following:
- Injury or trauma to the area
- Tumor pressing on the nerve
- Wearing a tight cast or splint on the lower leg
- Regularly wearing high boots
- Prolonged pressure on the nerve due to sitting or standing for long periods of time or when crossing the legs frequently
- Excessive use of alcohol or other drugs
- Underlying medical conditions such as diabetes that may be responsible for causing damage to the nerve
Regardless of the cause, if left untreated, common peroneal neuropathy can lead to serious complications such as permanent nerve damage or even paralysis.
Diagnosing Common Peroneal Neuropathy
To diagnose common peroneal neuropathy, your doctor will typically ask questions about your symptoms and perform a physical exam of your legs and feet. They may also order tests such as an MRI or CT scan to look for signs of nerve damage near the knee joint.
To further evaluate the condition, electromyography (EMG) may be ordered to test the electrical activity in the muscles of the leg, or a nerve conduction test may be done to check the speed of electrical signals through the nerve.
Why You Should See a Surgeon
If you’re experiencing any type of pain or numbness in your lower legs, it’s important to see a doctor right away. While common peroneal neuropathy is not usually life-threatening, if left untreated, it can cause permanent damage to your nerves, which could lead to more serious problems down the road.
By seeing a doctor promptly, you can reduce your symptoms and prevent further damage from occurring. With early detection and proper care, most people with this condition can lead full lives without any long-term effects from their illness.
Common peroneal neuropathy is a treatable condition. Once the underlying cause of your condition is determined, treatment can be discussed. Your doctor may recommend the following treatments:
- Lifestyle changes, such as avoiding activities that strain the affected area
- Wearing supportive shoes
- Physical therapy can also be helpful for strengthening the muscles around the affected area and promoting better balance and coordination
In some cases where conservative treatments do not provide relief from the symptoms of common peroneal neuropathy, surgery may be necessary to repair or remove any damaged nerves or tissue. Dr. Williams has successfully performed decompression surgery on the common peroneal nerve.
If you are considering nerve decompression surgery as a treatment for common peroneal neuropathy, contact Dr. Williams for an evaluation. He can determine if you will benefit from surgery or other options and create a treatment plan to fit your needs. Find out more by contacting our Baltimore office at (410) 709-3868 or by filling out our patient intake form online.