Surgical outcome of foot drop caused by common peroneal nerve injuries; is the glass half full or half empty?Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2016 06; 158(6):1133-8.AN
Foot drop is a gait abnormality with various etiologies. The Common Peroneal Nerve (CPN) is one of the most frequently injured peripheral nerves. CPN deficit leads to foot drop. Most CPN injuries recover spontaneously; nonetheless, some require nerve surgery. The present study set out to assess the surgical outcomes of foot drop following CPN injuries.
Surgical outcomes were reviewed in 36 subjects with foot drop caused by CPN injuries, undergoing surgical nerve exploration. The CPN injuries were confirmed by physical examination, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and electrodiagnostic findings.
Subsequent to surgery, a significant improvement was seen in the motor recovery of the subjects. Interestingly, no significant difference in the recovery was found between neurolysis and nerve repair (direct repair and nerve grafting). There was no significant association between the age and the functional recovery. Gender was not associated with the functional recovery. No significant difference was seen in the recovery between thigh-level and knee-level CPN divisions.
The findings from the present study suggest that nerve surgery can yield beneficial results in the recovery of foot drop following CPN injuries. In addition, the surgical outcome of neurolysis in the treatment of CPN injuries can be similar to that of the nerve repair (direct repair or nerve grafting). This may show the value of nerve repair, which was comparable to neurolysis in the treatment of CPN injuries.