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Tibial Nerve Injury: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Options

Dr. Markle discusses tibial nerve injury – what that means,
when you need surgery, and how to avoid surgery.

 

Transcript

Hello, Dr. Markle of Centeno-Schultz Clinic, and today we’re
going to be talking about how to treat tibial nerve injury. We’ll
be discussing exactly what is the tibial nerve, the muscles the
tibial innervates, how the nerve can be injured, as well as
potential treatments for this.

So let’s start off with what muscles are innervated by the
tibial nerve. The tibial nerve is essentially an extension of your
sciatic nerve. If you look on the right-hand side, this is your
sciatic nerve, as it comes out of your hip, travels down at the
back of the knee, it then splits.

One [branch] is in your common peroneal nerve and the other
branch is your actual tibial nerve. That tibial nerve then goes
down the back of the leg and goes, eventually, into the bottom of
the foot.

So let’s take a closer look at this, and we can see all the
muscles that the tibial nerve actually innervates, such as the

  • Popliteus
  • Plantaris
  • Gastrocnemius, your
  • Soleus, as well as your
  • ankle, foot, and ankle muscles, such as your Post Tibialis,
    your Flexor Hallucis Longus, your Flexor Digitorum, your Posterior
    Tibial (See Figure 1, below)

nerves that can be considered when you get a tibial nerve injury
Figure
1 – Nerves to be considered in Tibial Nerve Injury

 

All of these muscles help move the ankle, such as plantar
flexion, dorsiflexion, as well as supply some sensory innervations
to the bottom of the foot.

 

What Is the Main Function of the Tibial Nerve?

As mentioned earlier, the tibial nerve innervates muscles as
well as give sensations to the bottom of the feet. So if you damage
that nerve, it creates some weakness in the leg, such as inability
to plantar flex (basically go up on your toes, or even up on your
heels), as well as wiggle your toes, flex your toes – all those
become very weak. You can have a substantial amount of atrophy of
those muscles. The Gastrocnemius becomes a lot of atrophy and loss
of the muscle bulk, as well as the sensations – it creates a
burning, numbness, and tingling on the bottom of your feet. This
can be extremely problematic.

 

How Can the Tibial Nerve be Damaged?

The tibial nerve is commonly injured by trauma, so
fractures.

If we look at this x-ray here, your tibial nerve runs right
behind it. So this bone can damage and hit into that nerve,
depending on how the fracture is situated, as well as if the
fracture creates a lot of swelling. That swelling can create a lot
of local compression. In other ways: it can be affected by systemic
diseases, like diabetes mellitus. Diabetes creates a vascular
injury around the nerves, which eventually leads to the denervation
of the nerve, and nerve damage.

That nerve can also be damaged by a tumor, an abscess or also
bleeding of the knee — anything that can create some local
compression of the nerve and affect the function of the nerve.

 

How Can We Determine if the Tibial Nerve has been
Damaged?

Based on history and physical examination.  On that examination,
we can typically see the inability of the patient to

  • curl their toes,
  • push down on the foot, or even
  • twist the ankle inwards.

That weakness in the foot and ankle, as well as some atrophy in
the leg muscles, gives a clue that the tibial nerve has been
damaged.

We can do some further testing of the nerve, such as an
electromyography or EMG, a nerve biopsy or nerve conduction test to
see the electrical activity of the nerve. Alternatively, we can
look at the appearance of the nerve on imaging, such as the
diagnostic ultrasound or an MRI. A diagnostic ultrasound gives us
the ability in real-time and in-clinic to really evaluate the
nerve, the integrity of the nerve, as well as if there’s any
swelling or compression of the nerve on the full length of the
nerve.

 

Can the Nerve Damage be Repaired?


layers of protection in tibial nerve injury
Let’s
talk about what exactly is the nerve made of, how is it composed,
and then different types of injuries. So, if you look on the
left-hand side here, the nerve is essentially layers upon layers
upon layers of different protective connective tissue, ultimately
protecting the nerve fibers, which, actually, transmit the
electrical signal. Around that is myelin, which is insulation.
Around that is the Perineurium, more insulation. Around that would
be the Epineurium. Supporting that are the blood vessels on the
outside of the nerve. So all of these help protect the nerve.

Now, if the nerve has been damaged, there’s multiple different
types of damage you can have.

You can damage:

  • outer covering (called “Neurapraxiaâ€)
  • inner fibers of the nerve (the actual nerve itself, nerve
    fiber).
  • complete severing of the nerve

 

Each one of these is a little bit more severe than the next, as
well as sometimes there’s more of a combination of nerve injury,
not just one specific type of nerve injury.

 

How Do You Treat a Tibial Nerve Injury?

The natural course of nerve regeneration typically is about a
centimeter a month, or a millimeter a week. After that, after some
time has passed if the nerve doesn’t naturally repair itself,
there’s things we can interventionally do.

Some people that have a complete severing of their nerve do
require surgery; they basically do what’s called the nerve graft.
They take a donor nerve, connect the two ends of the nerve that
have been severed and hope it sort of fills in and bridges the
gap.

Today, in a lot of the Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell
Orthobiologic field, there’s been a lot of research over the last
10 years on nerve regeneration and use of Platelet-rich Plasma.
There’s multiple different research studies showing fully
transected nerves and sciatic nerve in a rat, where utilizing
Platelet-rich Plasma has increased the rate of regeneration of the
nerve, as well as the overall function of the nerve.

There’s also been multiple safety trials looking at carpal
tunnel syndrome, which is the most common nerve injury in our
peripheral nerves. That’s a chronic compressive neuropathy, which
eventually leads to nerve damage, where you can put Platelet-rich
Plasma around it.

There’s been three big randomised controlled trials, all
showing efficacy of both the electrophysiological changes of the
nerve improving as well as just the patient’s symptoms. So,
patients avoid surgery with a simple nerve ultrasound-guided
injection. If we look at the bottom left here, this is sort of how
the procedure goes. We use an ultrasound to find the nerve. And
then we bring the needle directly around and put the platelets in,
surround the nerve, saturating the nerve with all the growth
factors, helping the nerve to repair.

So, if you’ve been dealing with any tibial nerve pain or
tibial nerve injury, considering surgery and or looking at
alternatives to accelerate some of the regeneration of the nerves,
we’re happy to discuss. Feel free to give us a call or you can
reach out to us on one of our social media networks and we’re
happy to discuss further. Have a good day.

The post Tibial Nerve
Injury: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options
appeared
first on Centeno-Schultz
Clinic
.

Dr. Markle discusses tibial nerve injury – what that means,
when you need surgery, and how to avoid surgery.

 

Transcript

Hello, Dr. Markle of Centeno-Schultz Clinic, and today we’re
going to be talking about how to treat tibial nerve injury. We’ll
be discussing exactly what is the tibial nerve, the muscles the
tibial innervates, how the nerve can be injured, as well as
potential treatments for this.

So let’s start off with what muscles are innervated by the
tibial nerve. The tibial nerve is essentially an extension of your
sciatic nerve. If you look on the right-hand side, this is your
sciatic nerve, as it comes out of your hip, travels down at the
back of the knee, it then splits.

One [branch] is in your common peroneal nerve and the other
branch is your actual tibial nerve. That tibial nerve then goes
down the back of the leg and goes, eventually, into the bottom of
the foot.

So let’s take a closer look at this, and we can see all the
muscles that the tibial nerve actually innervates, such as the

  • Popliteus
  • Plantaris
  • Gastrocnemius, your
  • Soleus, as well as your
  • ankle, foot, and ankle muscles, such as your Post Tibialis,
    your Flexor Hallucis Longus, your Flexor Digitorum, your Posterior
    Tibial (See Figure 1, below)

nerves that can be considered when you get a tibial nerve injury
Figure
1 – Nerves to be considered in Tibial Nerve Injury

 

All of these muscles help move the ankle, such as plantar
flexion, dorsiflexion, as well as supply some sensory innervations
to the bottom of the foot.

 

What Is the Main Function of the Tibial Nerve?

As mentioned earlier, the tibial nerve innervates muscles as
well as give sensations to the bottom of the feet. So if you damage
that nerve, it creates some weakness in the leg, such as inability
to plantar flex (basically go up on your toes, or even up on your
heels), as well as wiggle your toes, flex your toes – all those
become very weak. You can have a substantial amount of atrophy of
those muscles. The Gastrocnemius becomes a lot of atrophy and loss
of the muscle bulk, as well as the sensations – it creates a
burning, numbness, and tingling on the bottom of your feet. This
can be extremely problematic.

 

How Can the Tibial Nerve be Damaged?

The tibial nerve is commonly injured by trauma, so
fractures.

If we look at this x-ray here, your tibial nerve runs right
behind it. So this bone can damage and hit into that nerve,
depending on how the fracture is situated, as well as if the
fracture creates a lot of swelling. That swelling can create a lot
of local compression. In other ways: it can be affected by systemic
diseases, like diabetes mellitus. Diabetes creates a vascular
injury around the nerves, which eventually leads to the denervation
of the nerve, and nerve damage.

That nerve can also be damaged by a tumor, an abscess or also
bleeding of the knee — anything that can create some local
compression of the nerve and affect the function of the nerve.

 

How Can We Determine if the Tibial Nerve has been
Damaged?

Based on history and physical examination.  On that examination,
we can typically see the inability of the patient to

  • curl their toes,
  • push down on the foot, or even
  • twist the ankle inwards.

That weakness in the foot and ankle, as well as some atrophy in
the leg muscles, gives a clue that the tibial nerve has been
damaged.

We can do some further testing of the nerve, such as an
electromyography or EMG, a nerve biopsy or nerve conduction test to
see the electrical activity of the nerve. Alternatively, we can
look at the appearance of the nerve on imaging, such as the
diagnostic ultrasound or an MRI. A diagnostic ultrasound gives us
the ability in real-time and in-clinic to really evaluate the
nerve, the integrity of the nerve, as well as if there’s any
swelling or compression of the nerve on the full length of the
nerve.

 

Can the Nerve Damage be Repaired?


layers of protection in tibial nerve injury
Let’s
talk about what exactly is the nerve made of, how is it composed,
and then different types of injuries. So, if you look on the
left-hand side here, the nerve is essentially layers upon layers
upon layers of different protective connective tissue, ultimately
protecting the nerve fibers, which, actually, transmit the
electrical signal. Around that is myelin, which is insulation.
Around that is the Perineurium, more insulation. Around that would
be the Epineurium. Supporting that are the blood vessels on the
outside of the nerve. So all of these help protect the nerve.

Now, if the nerve has been damaged, there’s multiple different
types of damage you can have.

You can damage:

  • outer covering (called “Neurapraxiaâ€)
  • inner fibers of the nerve (the actual nerve itself, nerve
    fiber).
  • complete severing of the nerve

 

Each one of these is a little bit more severe than the next, as
well as sometimes there’s more of a combination of nerve injury,
not just one specific type of nerve injury.

 

How Do You Treat a Tibial Nerve Injury?

The natural course of nerve regeneration typically is about a
centimeter a month, or a millimeter a week. After that, after some
time has passed if the nerve doesn’t naturally repair itself,
there’s things we can interventionally do.

Some people that have a complete severing of their nerve do
require surgery; they basically do what’s called the nerve graft.
They take a donor nerve, connect the two ends of the nerve that
have been severed and hope it sort of fills in and bridges the
gap.

Today, in a lot of the Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell
Orthobiologic field, there’s been a lot of research over the last
10 years on nerve regeneration and use of Platelet-rich Plasma.
There’s multiple different research studies showing fully
transected nerves and sciatic nerve in a rat, where utilizing
Platelet-rich Plasma has increased the rate of regeneration of the
nerve, as well as the overall function of the nerve.

There’s also been multiple safety trials looking at carpal
tunnel syndrome, which is the most common nerve injury in our
peripheral nerves. That’s a chronic compressive neuropathy, which
eventually leads to nerve damage, where you can put Platelet-rich
Plasma around it.

There’s been three big randomised controlled trials, all
showing efficacy of both the electrophysiological changes of the
nerve improving as well as just the patient’s symptoms. So,
patients avoid surgery with a simple nerve ultrasound-guided
injection. If we look at the bottom left here, this is sort of how
the procedure goes. We use an ultrasound to find the nerve. And
then we bring the needle directly around and put the platelets in,
surround the nerve, saturating the nerve with all the growth
factors, helping the nerve to repair.

So, if you’ve been dealing with any tibial nerve pain or
tibial nerve injury, considering surgery and or looking at
alternatives to accelerate some of the regeneration of the nerves,
we’re happy to discuss. Feel free to give us a call or you can
reach out to us on one of our social media networks and we’re
happy to discuss further. Have a good day.

The post Tibial Nerve
Injury: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options
appeared
first on Centeno-Schultz
Clinic
.

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