Entrapment neuropathies III: lower limb

Semin Musculoskelet Radiol. 2010 Nov;14(5):501-11. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1268070. Epub 2010 Nov 11.


Clinicians frequently encounter compressive neuropathies of the lower extremity. The clinical history and physical examination, along with electrodiagnostic testing and imaging studies, lead to the correct diagnosis. The imaging characteristics of the compression neuropathies can include acute and chronic changes in the nerves and the muscles they innervate. We provide a detailed review of compression neuropathies of the lower extremity with an emphasis on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging characteristics. We discuss the clinical presentation, etiology, anatomical location, and MR imaging appearance of these neuropathies, including the piriformis syndrome, iliacus syndrome, saphenous neuropathy, obturator neuropathy, lateral femoral cutaneous neuropathy (meralgia paresthetica), proximal tibial neuropathy, common peroneal neuropathy, deep peroneal neuropathy, superficial peroneal neuropathy, tarsal tunnel syndrome, Baxter's neuropathy, jogger's foot, sural neuropathy, and Morton's neuroma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ankle Joint / innervation
  • Ankle Joint / pathology
  • Femoral Neuropathy
  • Foot / innervation
  • Foot / pathology
  • Hip / innervation
  • Hip / pathology
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / innervation
  • Knee Joint / pathology
  • Lower Extremity / innervation
  • Lower Extremity / pathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / pathology*
  • Obturator Nerve / pathology
  • Peroneal Neuropathies / pathology
  • Piriformis Muscle Syndrome / pathology
  • Sural Nerve / pathology
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome / pathology
  • Thigh / innervation
  • Thigh / pathology