Common peroneal nerve dysfunction

Alternative Names

Neuropathy – common peroneal nerve; Peroneal nerve injury; Peroneal nerve palsy

Definition of Common peroneal nerve dysfunction

Common peroneal nerve dysfunction is damage to the peroneal nerve leading to loss of movement or sensation in the foot and leg.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The peroneal nerve is a branch of the sciatic nerve, which supplies movement and sensation to the lower leg, foot and toes. Common peroneal nerve dysfunction is a type of peripheral neuropathy (damage to nerves outside the brain or spinal cord). This condition can affect people of any age.

Signs and tests

Examination of the legs may show a loss of muscle control over the legs (usually the lower legs) and feet. The foot or leg muscles may atrophy (lose mass). There is difficulty with dorsiflexion (lifting up the foot and toes) and with eversion (toe-out movements).


Treatment is aimed at maximizing mobility and independence. Any illness or other source of inflammation that is causing the neuropathy should be treated.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outcome depends on the underlying cause. Successful treatment of the underlying cause may resolve the dysfunction, although it may take several months for the nerve to grow back.


Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital; David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 8/29/2009

Common peroneal nerve dysfunction

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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