Treatment of peroneal nerve injuries with simultaneous tendon transfer and nerve exploration.J Orthop Surg Res. 2014 Aug 06; 9:67.JO
Common peroneal nerve palsy leading to foot drop is difficult to manage and has historically been treated with extended bracing with expectant waiting for return of nerve function. Peroneal nerve exploration has traditionally been avoided except in cases of known traumatic or iatrogenic injury, with tendon transfers being performed in a delayed fashion after exhausting conservative treatment. We present a new strategy for management of foot drop with nerve exploration and concomitant tendon transfer.
We retrospectively reviewed a series of 12 patients with peroneal nerve palsies that were treated with tendon transfer from 2005 to 2011. Of these patients, seven were treated with simultaneous peroneal nerve exploration and repair at the time of tendon transfer.
Patients with both nerve repair and tendon transfer had superior functional results with active dorsiflexion in all patients, compared to dorsiflexion in 40% of patients treated with tendon transfers alone. Additionally, 57% of patients treated with nerve repair and tendon transfer were able to achieve enough function to return to running, compared to 20% in patients with tendon transfer alone. No patient had full return of native motor function resulting in excessive dorsiflexion strength.
The results of our limited case series for this rare condition indicate that simultaneous nerve repair and tendon transfer showed no detrimental results and may provide improved function over tendon transfer alone.