Common Peroneal Nerve Compression (Foot Drop) Specialist

Anthony Echo, MD -  - Plastic Surgeon

Anthony Echo, MD

Plastic Surgeon & Reconstructive Surgeon located in Houston, TX

Your peroneal nerve is a sensory and motor nerve that branches off your sciatic nerve in your leg and to your feet. Common peroneal nerve compression affects the normal function of this nerve, which may result in foot drop. If symptoms of common peroneal nerve compression fail to improve quickly, surgical intervention is recommended. Anthony Echo, MD, with offices in Houston Methodist Hospital and the Willowbrook neighborhood of Houston, Texas, is a fellowship-trained peripheral nerve surgeon who specializes in the surgical treatment of common peroneal nerve compression. Call the office or book an appointment online today.

Common Peroneal Nerve Compression (Foot Drop) Q&A

What is common peroneal nerve compression (foot drop)?

The common peroneal nerve is a sensory and motor nerve. It branches off your sciatic nerve and runs from your leg to your foot. 

The nerve provides sensory information from the front and side of your leg, as well as the top of your foot. The common peroneal nerve also controls the muscles that move your ankles and toes. 

Common peroneal nerve compression often occurs on the outer portion of the knee and affects sensory and motor function in your leg and foot, leading to foot drop. 

What are common peroneal nerve compression symptoms?

Common peroneal nerve compression symptoms include pain in the outer knee and foot drop. You may also experience weakness in your toes and numbness on the top of your feet.

Foot drop from common peroneal nerve compression results in difficulty moving or lifting your foot, and the front of your foot may drag along the floor when you walk.

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, contact Dr. Echo to schedule an evaluation. 

How is common peroneal nerve compression diagnosed?

Dr. Echo conducts a thorough clinical exam to diagnose common peroneal nerve compression. During the evaluation, he asks detailed questions about your symptoms, and when they started. 

He also reviews your medical and surgical history and conducts a physical exam, paying close attention to the structure and function of the leg causing your symptoms. To confirm or rule out a diagnosis, Dr. Echo conducts diagnostic testing, which may include electromyography (EMG) and an MRI. 

How is common peroneal nerve compression treated?

Dr. Echo develops individualized treatment plans for the management of common peroneal nerve compression based on the longevity and severity of your symptoms. Initially, he may recommend physical therapy or nerve stimulation.

However, if your symptoms fail to improve within four to six weeks, Dr. Echo recommends surgical intervention. The procedure involves an 8-cm (3-inch) incision on the outer part of the knee over the peroneal nerve.

The thickened fascia over the nerve is released to take the pressure off of the nerve. This will allow the nerve to regenerate and restore function to the muscles in the leg. For patients with more severe injury or delayed presentation, the recovery can be more unpredictable.

For the expert management of common peroneal nerve compression or foot drop, call Anthony Echo, MD, or book online today.