The peroneal nerve may be unfamiliar to some, and many people have not even heard of peroneal nerve dysfunction. While it may sound unrelated to your life, it is actually quite important.
Peroneal Nerve Dysfunction is a condition that everyone should be well aware of to help prevent it and spread information about it.
Peroneal Nerve Dysfunction can happen to ANYONE at ANY AGE. It is not something you are born with or can assume you have outgrown the age to be affected by it.
It is a condition that can occur by something as simple as crossing your legs far too often. Why? Well, I will explain what the peroneal nerve is, where it is located, and what Peroneal Nerve Dysfunction is.
What Is the Peroneal Nerve?
The common peroneal nerve descends off of the tibial nerve. It is parallel to the Tibia and wraps around the Fibula. If your Fibula snaps then it could stress the peroneal nerve to the point of causing horrible damage.
These are both located in the leg, just under the knee. A picture might help pinpoint the exact location better if my description is not enough.
The peroneal nerve is crucial in the leg because it helps provide movement for the lower part of the leg, under the knee, and can cause foot drop if it is hurt or torn.
Foot drop can be a symptom of a more crucial condition. Foot drop also changes how you walk, since your lower leg and foot become weaker.
Having peroneal nerve damage can result in Peroneal Nerve Dysfunction; which is the topic of this article. Now that you know what the peroneal nerve is as well as how crucial it can be to walking and motor skills, then I will now explain the condition and its symptoms.
Peroneal Nerve Dysfunction
Peroneal Nerve Dysfunction is a condition that affects a person’s motor skills, as the peroneal nerve is what helps make your legs move.
It is the nerve that helps transmit sensation and movement to the rest of the leg, so it can cause slight paralysis of the legs.
Symptoms of Peroneal Nerve Dysfunction
Some of the symptoms include:
1- Inability to move your legs, which is a very drastic symptom and may not occur right away. You could be diagnosed before it gets to this point, but it is a symptom nonetheless.
2- A decrease in feeling and movement in the outer part of the upper or lower leg, or in the foot. The peroneal nerve helps send sensation to the leg so the damage could affect the sensations you feel in your leg.
3- A stressed walking pattern that involves your foot snapping down after becoming weak. Can also cause an odd sound when you walk.
4- Decreased muscle mass due to the muscles not being worked properly.
Causes of Peroneal Nerve Dysfunction
Some of the causes of Peroneal Nerve Dysfunction have already been brought up in previous sections of this article, but I will go into more detail about them as well as explain more.
As previously mentioned, this condition is actually quite simple to get and is not exclusive to an age group or gender. It is based on activities and other small injuries that harm the peroneal nerve and the surrounding area.
1- A Fibula break – The Fibula is located directly next to the peroneal nerve, so it is quite easy for the two to both be affected by the same injury.
The most drastic injury that could cause both to be damaged would be if the Fibula was broken and managed to put pressure on the nerve. Pressure, as well as any sharp edges that could possibly tear the nerve, can cause the nerve to stop working effectively.
2- Crossing your legs constantly – This one may seem ridiculous or hard to believe, but it is true. Think about it; your legs being crossed can cause the nerves and ligaments to stretch around the knee. This added pressure could harm the nerves surrounding, or near, it.
3- Being immobile for a long period of time – Being immobile can actually cause the nerve to weaker, as muscles do, and can cause your motor functions to lower in your lower body.
4- A Knee Injury
5- Being anorexic and having less muscle and fat on your legs to protect the nerve.
Does the Peroneal Nerve Heal Itself?
Yes, in a sense, the peroneal nerve can heal after a great amount of time. Nerve damage can be healed during months, or years and the muscle can regain movement after the axon segment regrow.
This is a process that is hard to understand in a few sentences, as it is very scientific and requires a great understanding of the human body. It is, however, possible to research online.
The fact is that, yes, it can be healed and the condition can then disappear. The disability could be permanent if the damage caused was too great. The underlying reason for the condition can also help decide whether the nerve is able to heal or not.
Ensure that you do not overwork your body and listen to your doctor’s instructions to help speed up the process. The axon segments regrow at a very slow pace, and it depends on how bad the injury was and what did the damage to it.
Diagnosis and Solutions for PND
Diagnosing this condition requires having a doctor examine your legs and feet. An MRI or a CT scan can help diagnose the condition by showing the nerve and if it is compressed or not.
You can even have an electrodiagnostic test done, such as an EMG, as recommended by your doctor.
Having some of the symptoms does not equate to having the condition, so it is very important that you go to a professional and have them check it out for themselves.
If you do have PND then you should look into it and how you can help ease the pain. Some of the ways to ease the pain, quick solutions, are:
1- Steroid injections – Steroid injections are a possible quick solution, though not permanent, as they can help ease the pain by lowering the swelling of the nerve.
It can help ease symptoms and may be able to make it easier to bare. However, it is not permanent and may not be as effective for harsher cases.
2- Ensuring that you do not overwork your body and listen to your physician about what you should and should not do. I know this one is less of a way to help, but a way to be helped, but it is very important that you listen to the professional.
3- Surgery – Surgery may be able to help fix the nerve and the surrounding area. Talk to your doctor about the possibility of surgery and how you can prepare for it if needed.
The peroneal nerve is a nerve that is crucial to your motor skills. It is an important part of your leg and should be treated with care.
While peroneal nerve dysfunction is not as talked about, it is a condition that can affect anyone that is careless or unaware of the condition.
Talk to your doctor about anything that you are unsure of. Hopefully, this did manage to help in some way though.