Peroneal Nerve Entrapment

When the peroneal nerve—located under the peroneus longus muscle just below the knee—becomes compressed, the pressure can cause a burning and tingling sensation on the shin and the top part of the foot. This is referred to as peroneal nerve entrapment. The discomfort associated with this condition typically worsens with walking and squatting. In severe cases, patients experience weakness when they attempt to lift up their foot, a phenomenon called foot drop. Those affected by peroneal nerve entrapment also may experience tenderness below the knee, near the fibular head. Touching the affected area may also cause shooting, shock-like sensations that run down the leg to the foot. Peroneal nerve entrapment can result from direct impact or trauma (e.g., being tackled at the knees), abnormal inflammation in the surrounding tissues, knee cysts, healing bone fractures, an overstretching injury (e.g., a knee sprain), or abnormal swelling in the leg. Treatment of peroneal nerve entrapment may involve resting, avoiding any movements or positions that aggravate the condition, administering steroid injections near the peroneal nerve, using an ankle splint (in cases with foot drop), participating in a physical therapy program to restore and maintain proper muscle function and strength, and—when symptoms persist for more than three months—surgery to relieve the compression.