Neuropathy – tibial nerve
Definition of Tibial nerve dysfunction
Tibial nerve dysfunction is a loss of movement or sensation in the lower leg, caused by damage to the tibial nerve.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Tibial nerve dysfunction is a form of peripheral neuropathy. It occurs when there is damage to the tibial nerve, one of the branches of the sciatic nerve of the leg. The tibial nerve supplies movement and sensation to the calf and foot muscles.
Signs and tests
Neuromuscular examination of the legs shows tibial nerve dysfunction. There may be weakness or inability to push the foot downward (plantar flexion). Severe cases may cause wasting of the foot muscles and foot deformity.
Treatment is aimed at increasing mobility and independent self-care. In some cases, no treatment is required and recovery is spontaneous.
If the cause of the tibial nerve dysfunction can be identified and successfully treated, there is a possibility of full recovery. The extent of disability varies, with partial or complete or sensation. may be quite uncomfortable and persist for a prolonged period of time.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 3/26/2009