Lower extremity nerve entrapments in athletes

James R Meadows, Jonathan T Finnoff
Current Sports Medicine Reports 2014, 13 (5): 299-306
Nerve entrapments are a potential cause of lower extremity pain in athletes. Signs and symptoms suggestive of nerve entrapment include anesthesia, dysesthesias, paresthesias, or weakness in the distribution of a peripheral nerve. The physical examination may reveal an abnormal neurologic examination finding in the distribution of a peripheral nerve, positive nerve provocative testing, and positive Tinel sign over the area of entrapment. Electrodiagnostic studies, radiographs, magnetic resonance imaging studies, and sonographic evaluation may assist with the diagnosis of these disorders. Initial treatment usually involves conservative measures, but surgical intervention may be required if conservative treatment fails. This article discusses the diagnosis and treatment of common lower extremity nerve entrapments in athletes. A high index of suspicion for nerve entrapments enables the clinician to identify these conditions in a timely manner and institute an appropriate management program, thus improving patient outcomes.

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