Peroneal Nerve Syndrome

Peroneal nerve syndrome results from compression of the peroneal nerve, a branching nerve from the sciatic nerve. It controls the leg muscles that lift up the ankle and toes. 

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of peroneal nerve syndrome depend on the severity of injury to the nerve. Mild symptoms occur in the legs and feet:

  • Numbness, tingling or weakness in the lower legs or feet
  • Pain in the lower legs or feet
  • Loss of ability to point toes or ankle upwards
  • Loss of ability to move the foot

More severe peroneal nerve injury can cause difficulty walking and a change in gait called a foot drop.

Potential Causes

Peroneal nerve injury is the result of nerve compression or trauma, such as:

  • Knee dislocation
  • Knee or leg fracture
  • Knee or hip replacement surgery
  • Compression of the peroneal nerve, such as by a nerve sheath or nerve cyst


Other conditions can cause the same symptoms, so it is important to check with your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Only a doctor experienced in recognizing the exact combination of symptoms that indicate peroneal nerve syndrome can make a firm diagnosis.

Diagnosis of peroneal nerve syndrome starts with a physical exam and medical history. Other procedures and tests may be needed to diagnose this condition, including electromyogram , nerve conduction studies, magnetic resonance neurography , computed tomography (CT) and ultrasound .

Treatment Options

There are different treatment options depending on the severity of your symptoms:


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