High Resolution MRI Confirms Torsional Injury as Mechanism for Combined Ankle and Common Fibular (Peroneal) Nerve Injuries


Common fibular nerve (CFN) injury due to ankle fracture is an underreported complication. The authors have proposed that torsional injury to the ankle can be translated along the interosseous membrane (IOM), producing tension on the CFN at the fibular neck. A 23-year-old woman presented to our clinic for left foot drop. Three months prior, the patient sustained a fall with left ankle inversion injury while running. She was diagnosed with a minor ankle fracture and placed in an orthopaedic boot. Unfortunately, her swelling worsened and one week later the patient was diagnosed with foot drop, which was further corroborated with EMG studies showing severe CFN injury localizing to the fibular neck. Because of the lack of recovery, she underwent decompression of the CFN. She experienced immediate symptomatic relief. High resolution imaging in this case supports our previous mechanism for indirect trauma to the ankle resulting in CFN injury. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 33(1):053-055, 2024)

Key words: peroneal nerve, interosseous membrane, common fibular nerve, peripheral nerve, foot drop

Rohin Singh, BS; Kimberly K. Amrami, MD; and Robert J. Spinner, MD