Common peroneal nerve palsy - denervation changes

Case contributed by Dr. Chris O'Donnell

Presentation

Foot drop post-trauma to the knee with surgical repair.

Patient Data

Age: 40 years
Gender: Male

Extensive disruption to ligamentous structures laterally in the knee as well as postoperative changes. Note typical denervation changes to muscle supplied by both the superficial and deep branches of the nerve (i.e. anterior compartment of the leg) characterized by edema (T2 brightening) as well as atrophy and early fatty replacement indicating that the denervation has been present for some time (i.e. weeks to months).

Case Discussion

The common peroneal nerve is susceptible to injury laterally in the knee especially as it winds around the neck of the fibula. 

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