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Gastrocnemius Muscle Herniation at the Knee Causing Peroneal Nerve Compression Resembling Sciatica

Alhadeff, Joseph, BS*; Lee, Casey K., MD

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Study Design This was a case report.

Objectives This is a case report of common peroneal nerve compression resembling sciatica caused by muscle herniation through the gastrocnemius muscle fascia in the popliteal area.

Summary of Background Data A review of the literature revealed various causes of nerve compression of the lower extremity that resembles symptoms of sciatica (pseudoradiculopathy). There is, however, no report of pseudoradiculopathy caused by gastrocnemius muscle herniation in the popliteal area.

Methods The diagnosis of muscle herniation was confirmed during an exploratory operation of the common peroneal nerve in the popliteal area after other possible causes for L5 radiculopathy such as disc herniation and nerve root compression in the lumbar spine were ruled out by various imaging tests.

Results Complete relief of symptoms was obtained after the the torn gastrocnemius fascia was repaired.

Conclusion An unusual case of pseudoradicular symptoms is presented caused by compression of the common peroneal nerve in the popliteal area by gastrocnemius muscle herniation

*From the New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey

†From the Department of Orthopaedics, New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.