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Peroneal Nerve Injury Treatment Overview

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Care Plan


First steps to consider

  • See a healthcare provider if you have a peroneal nerve injury.
  • It’s usually treated with medication, physical therapy, lifestyle changes, and surgery.
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Symptom relief

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  • Mild to moderate pain caused by a peroneal nerve injury can be treated with OTC pain relievers and lifestyle changes.
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Emergency Care

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Go to the ER if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Numbness or tingling after trauma to your legs
  • Weakness in your foot
  • You cannot move your foot upwards

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All treatments for peroneal nerve injury
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Read more about peroneal nerve injury care options

When to see a healthcare provider

Always see a healthcare provider—either a primary care provider or a neurologist—for a peroneal nerve injury. Symptoms include numbness and tingling in the top of the foot or in the outer part of the lower leg, numbness and tingling of the skin between the big toe and second toe, foot drop (the affected foot drags on the floor), and difficulty walking.

It’s important to see a provider because the numbness and paralysis could become permanent if the injury isn’t treated. Your doctor may also check for other conditions with similar symptoms like a herniated disk.

Getting diagnosed

A peroneal nerve injury is usually diagnosed based on your symptoms and a physical exam. Your provider may also order tests including:

  • Electromyogram to check electrical activity within the muscles.
  • Nerve conduction study, which measures how quickly electrical signals travel along your nerves.
  • Imaging tests like a CT scan, ultrasound, or MRI

What to expect from your doctor visit

  • Your provider may recommend letting the nerve heal on its own with at-home treatments.
  • You may be referred for physical therapy, which can strengthen weak muscles and improve your mobility.
  • In some cases, surgery may be needed. There are several types of surgeries that may be recommended, depending on what caused the injury:
    • Repair of the nerve (putting the nerve back together if it is torn)
    • Replacement of the nerve (also called grafting)
    • Fixing the fracture or removing a tumor that could be pressing on the nerve

Types of peroneal nerve injury providers

  • A primary care provider may be able to treat mild symptoms.
  • You may be referred to a neurologist, who has special training in diagnosing and treating disorders of the nervous system.
  • If surgery is necessary, you’ll be referred to a neurosurgeon, who specializes in surgical treatment of nervous system disorders, or an orthopedic surgeon, who specializes in surgery for musculoskeletal conditions.
  • A physical therapist can teach you exercises that strengthen the muscles and keep you mobile.
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Frequently asked questions