Injury of the tibial nerve at the lower leg level is commonly caused by direct trauma, such as a laceration, contusion or compression. It can also occur due to prolonged periods of limb disuse, such as from prolonged sitting or immobilization, as well as from medical conditions such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
Injury of the tibial nerve can be diagnosed with a physical examination, where the doctor will check for signs of nerve damage, such as numbness, tingling and/or weakness. An imaging test, such as an MRI or CT scan, may also be ordered to help confirm the diagnosis.
Injury of the tibial nerve must be differentiated from other causes of nerve damage, such as peripheral neuropathy caused by a systemic disorder or motor neuron disease.
Treatment for injury of the tibial nerve is largely dependent on the cause and severity of the injury. In some cases, rest and physical therapy are sufficient to help the nerve heal. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the nerve.
The prognosis for injury of the tibial nerve depends on the severity of the injury, the underlying cause and the effectiveness of the treatment. In most cases, recovery is possible with early diagnosis and treatment. In more severe cases, however, permanent nerve damage and disability can occur.