Peroneal neuropathy is defined as an injury or damage to the peroneal nerve. Peroneal nerve is a branch from the sciatic nerve and it is located within the front part of your leg, below the knee. It is responsible for the activation of the muscles of the anterior (front) and lateral (outer side) compartments of the leg such as tibialis anterior, extensor digitorum longus, extensor hallucis longus, fibularis longus and fibularis brevis. These muscles allow you to bend your foot upward at the ankle, turn it outward and lift up your toes. If there is any damage to your peroneal nerve, you might have trouble performing the movements mentioned above and develop foot drop.
Foot drop is the most common initial manifestation of peroneal neuropathy. Foot drop occurs when a patient isn’t able to lift the front part of their foot up due to weakness in the muscles responsible, causing the affected foot to be dragging on the floor while walking. This causes difficulty in walking and increases the risk of falling. Overtime, patient might develop abnormal posture while walking such as abnormally heightened gait or swinging of the leg in a wide arc to compensate with the dragging.
In some cases, patient with foot drop might experience painful tingling or burning sensations in the affected foot. Foot drop can occur in one or both legs and it can develop in people of all ages. If foot drop is left untreated over a long period of time, complications such as muscle atrophy or decreases in muscle mass may develop.
The peroneal nerve can be damaged by either traumatic or insidious causes. Traumatic causes of nerve injury may include musculoskeletal injury, isolated nerve traction, compression or laceration. Insidious causes may include mass lesions and metabolic syndromes. Furthermore, fracture of the tibia or fibula (bones in the leg), especially at the areas closer to the knee may injured the peroneal nerve too. Moreover, peroneal nerve can be affected if the patient has Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
There are some symptoms commonly associated with peroneal neuropathy, which may include:
In most cases, pain in the outer part of lower leg and top of feet is the earliest symptoms in peroneal neuropathy. Patient can try applying heat or ice pack on the painful areas to relief the pain. However, as these options are only symptomatic relief only, it is recommended for patients to consult a healthcare professional to first addressing the underlying cause of the condition. For mild cases, doctors might help fixing your foot drop by recommending some nonsurgical treatments such as orthotics, braces or splints that fit inside your shoe and assist you walk easier. Chiropractic can also help with your walking and mobility by providing you with some muscle strengthening and stretching exercises to help with correcting abnormal gait caused by foot drop and increase the range of motion in the ankle. Furthermore, structural problems in the spine or abnormal alignment can affect the functionality of the nervous system and lead to peroneal neuropathy, therefore, chiropractors can apply spinal manipulations, alignments and decompressions to restore the nerve’s function. For more severe cases, your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure to either decompress the nerve, repair the nerve with grafts or sutures, or transfer other nerves or tendons to support function of your leg and feet.
At Lakeside Chiropractic, our trained chiropractors can help you with peroneal neuropathy by applying spinal manipulations, providing exercise programmes and recommending the correct braces for you. We will try our very best to help you recover from peroneal neuropathy and drop foot as soon as possible. We are situated in the middle of Joondalup, Lakeside Chiropractic has many visitors from neighbouring suburbs including Jindalee, Ellenbrook, Ocean Keys, Burns Beach, Clarkson, Padbury and Beldon. We have HICAPS facilities on site to assist in the expense of your treatment and are BUPA and Medibank preferred providers, however take many others including, HIF, HBF, NIB, etc. To book an appointment you can contact us on 93000095 and speak with our receptionist or book via our ‘book now’ tab on our website www.lakesidechiro.com.au. We look forward to hearing from you soon and treating your condition.