Surgical treatment of peroneal nerve palsy after knee dislocation
Numerous surgical techniques have been described for the treatment of peroneal nerve palsy after knee dislocation with less than optimal outcomes. The purpose of this article is to present a review of the literature including modern surgical treatment options for peroneal nerve palsy after knee dislocation.
Review of the current body of literature relevant to the topic was undertaken and summarized accordingly. Mechanism of injury, pathology and prognosis as well as current and novel treatment options are presented.
Neurolysis and nerve grafting results are dependant on nerve graft length, with documented recovery rates of only 44% for nerve grafts longer than 6 cm. Posterior tibial tendon transfer procedures have had reasonable success in allowing patients to return to ambulation without assistive devices; however, dorsiflexion strength on the affected side has been reported at only 30% that of the normal contralateral side, and return to activities more strenuous than walking has not been reported. Future concepts including partial nerve transfer of a motor branch of the tibial nerve to the peroneal nerve have been described, but no outcome data is currently available.
Peroneal nerve palsy after knee dislocation leads to significant functional impairment. Prior treatment strategies utilized for restoration of dorsiflexion and peroneal nerve function have yielded overall poor results. Newer surgical techniques are being developed and clinical trials are under way to evaluate their effectiveness.