Can tibial fracture result in peroneal palsy?

Q. Is it normal to have peroneal palsy after tibial fracture?

Answered by
Dr. Atul Prakash
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 08, 2016 and last reviewed on: Jul 28, 2023

Hi doctor,

I had a tibial shaft fracture and the doctors placed an intramedullary rod for the recovery. It has been two weeks. SLR and knee flexion are good. But, I am unable to actively dorsiflex. My doctor said it could be a common peroneal palsy and suggested a nerve conduction test after four weeks. Is it normal to have common peroneal palsy after a fracture? Can it be cured?



Welcome to

Tibial shaft fractures are usually not known to cause peroneal nerve palsy. Did you have a problem with the dorsiflexion of the foot before the rod was placed? This may have been difficult for you to remember, but your doctor should have checked and documented this in his notes. Simple great toe dorsiflexion and sensations on the top of your foot would have sufficed. Was there severe pain and swelling following the fracture? Did you feel extreme pain if somebody touched your toes or moved them and you needed to be dosed up on pain killers? I ask this as this is the second cause of loss of dorsiflexion called compartment syndrome (increased pressure within a confined body part). Lastly, when the nail is placed the leg is put up on a stirrup. If this is not padded properly, then you can get nerve palsy. You need to furnish me with the information to help you further. Also, a nerve conduction study (NCS) should be done at six weeks rather than four weeks, especially if no recovery is occurring. This means that the recovery may take up to two months or may never happen.

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