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Neurological evaluation in the immediate phase after knee injury or surgery

Nerve damage may occur during surgery, so it is important to be mindful of areas of numbness or any tendency to 'foot drop' where it is difficult to lift up the foot.

Let your doctor know early if these occur.

The peroneal nerve is quite commonly damaged where injury or surgery affects the area around the top of the fibula on the outer side of the knee. Foot drop is the usual consequence, with numbness or pins-and-needles of the skin on the outer calf and top of the foot (but not the little toe).

To test for numbness, an examiner can prick the area gently with a pin, sometimes turning the pin to 'prick' with the blunt end. the patient needs to identify when the skin has been 'pricked' and whether it is sharp or blunt.

Updated: 18 Apr, 2013
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