Listed below are peroneal nerve damage symptoms which require immediate attention from your doctor. Determining the exact cause of these symptoms and the extent of damage will enable your doctor to guide you in the best course of action for treatment.
The peroneal nerve damage symptoms are as follows:
- Tingling, or a sensation of “pins and needles,” on the top of the foot or on the outer part of the upper or lower leg
- Numbness in the same areas noted above
- Measurable weakness of the ankles or feet
- Slapping sound with each step taken
- Tendency for toes to drag while walking
- Inability to hold the foot in a horizontal position
Importance of Medical Exam
Peroneal nerve damage that is minor may heal on its own in a few months’ time, but only a medical exam can determine if your symptoms reflect damage to your peroneal nerve that is minor or is more serious nerve damage.
Simply hoping that the symptoms will go away on their own is a dangerous attitude. For some physical ailments, a “wait and see” approach is alright, but it is not alright if you are having peroneal nerve damage symptoms. Only a medical exam will determine if your symptoms reflect something minor that will indeed “go away,” or if the symptoms indicate something more serious.
Peroneal nerve injury risks are grave. If your symptoms indicate more serious peroneal nerve injury, then you risk permanent disability by doing nothing. Don’t take that risk!
Taking the above admonishments into account, please note that tingling, numbness, and weakness can be caused by other conditions than peroneal nerve injury. For instance, sciatic nerve irritation can be the cause of tingling on the outer part of the leg, weakness, numbness, and/or difficulty moving the leg or foot.
The reason for this is that the sciatic nerve and the common peroneal nerve are connected; the peroneal nerve is actually a branch of the sciatic nerve. Almost an inch in diameter, the sciatic nerve runs from the lower spine through the pelvic area and down the hip area, finally running down the back of the leg. This makes the sciatic nerve the longest in the body.
The peroneal nerve branches off from the sciatic nerve in back of the knee, winds around the outside of the knee, does down along the fibula, and ends up in the foot.
You doctor can determine if your symptoms are do to peroneal nerve damage or sciatic nerve irritation.
Damage to the peroneal nerve that is minor may heal on its own in about three months. However, if the damage is more than minor, you may be faced with significant peroneal nerve palsy, and all the difficulties inherent in the loss of motor function of your foot.
This is why it is so important to consult a doctor. You absolutely do not want to risk more severe peroneal neuropathy by assuming or hoping your symptoms will go away in time. Have a medical examination as soon as possible to determine if your symptoms are due to sciatic nerve irritation, minor peroneal nerve damage that is likely to heal on its own, or if your peroneal nerve damage symptoms indicate a serious condition that such as drop foot.