A nerve becomes pinched/compressed when added pressure is placed on it by surrounding structures that can include muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, or a combination. This injures and damages the nerve causing function problems and symptoms and sensations in that area or other parts of the body that are supplied by that nerve. Medical practitioners refer to this as nerve compression or entrapment. Although compressed nerves are more commonly associated with the neck, arms, hands, elbows, and lower back, any nerve in the body can experience irritation, spasms, inflammation, and compression. The causes and treatment of a compressed nerve in the knee.
Table of Contents
There’s only one nerve that goes through the knee that has an increased risk of getting compressed. It’s a branch of the sciatic nerve called the peroneal nerve. The nerve goes around the outside of the knee before traveling down the outside of the lower leg. At the bottom of the knee, it lies between the bone and skin, making it vulnerable to irritation or compression by anything that can put pressure on the outside of the knee.
Traumatic injuries over time can lead to pressure on the nerve from inside the knee. Common causes of a compressed nerve in the knee include:
The peroneal nerve supplies sensation and movement to the outside of the lower leg and the top of the foot. When compressed, it becomes inflamed, which causes the symptoms of a compressed nerve. Usually, only the lining/myelin sheath around the nerve is what gets injured. However, when the nerve gets damaged, the symptoms are similar but more severe. Common symptoms include:
A doctor will look at medical history and perform an examination to make a diagnosis, determine the cause, and lay out a personalized treatment plan. The nerve in the knee can be felt as it travels around the top of the tibia, so a doctor may tap on it. If there is shooting pain down the leg, a pinched nerve may be present. Tests a doctor may order can include:
Treatment is aimed at reducing pain and improving mobility.
Krych, Aaron J et al. “Is peroneal nerve injury associated with worse function after knee dislocation?.” Clinical orthopedics and related research vol. 472,9 (2014): 2630-6. doi:10.1007/s11999-014-3542-9
Lezak B, Massel DH, Varacallo M. Peroneal Nerve Injury. [Updated 2022 Nov 14]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549859/
Soltani Mohammadi, Sussan, et al. “Comparing the squatting position and traditional sitting position for ease of spinal needle placement: a randomized clinical trial.” Anesthesiology and pain medicine vol. 4,2 e13969. 5 Apr. 2014, doi:10.5812/aapm.13969
Stanitski, C L. “Rehabilitation following knee injury.” Clinics in sports medicine vol. 4,3 (1985): 495-511.
Xu, Lin, et al. Zhongguo gu Shang = China Journal of Orthopedics and Traumatology vol. 33,11 (2020): 1071-5. doi:10.12200/j.issn.1003-0034.2020.11.017
Yacub, Jennifer N et al. “Nerve injury in patients after hip and knee arthroplasties and knee arthroscopy.” American Journal of physical medicine & Rehabilitation vol. 88,8 (2009): 635-41; quiz 642-4, 691. doi:10.1097/PHM.0b013e3181ae0c9d
The information herein on "Compressed Nerve In The Knee" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, acupuncture, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.
We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.
We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.
We are here to help you and your family.
Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card
For individuals training for long distance walking marathons and/or events, can focusing on building a… Read More
Could pita bread be a possible option for individuals trying to eat healthier? Pita Bread… Read More
Can individuals dealing with joint pain incorporate acupuncture therapy to manage lupus symptoms and restore… Read More
For individuals considering acupuncture for sciatica relief and management, can knowing how it works and… Read More