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see nervous systemnervous system,
network of specialized tissue that controls actions and reactions of the body and its adjustment to the environment. Virtually all members of the animal kingdom have at least a rudimentary nervous system.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the cordlike association of nerve tissues that links the brain and nerve ganglia by innervation to the other organs and tissues of the body.

A nerve primarily consists of nerve fibers. In vertebrates many nerves converge to form a bundle that is surrounded by a connective tissue sheath, the perineurium; the thin interstitial layers of connective tissue that separate the individual fibers deep within the bundle constitute the endoneurium. Finally, the entire nerve trunk, comprising several bundles, is covered by an additional sheath, the epineurium.

Nerves can be sensory (also called afferent or centripetal) or motor (also called efferent or centrifugal). Some nerves, for example, those innervating the skeletal muscles, mainly include myelinated, or medullated, fibers; others, for example, the sympathetic nerves, largely consist of unmyelinated, or unmedullated, fibers.

In reptiles, birds, mammals, and man 12 pairs of cranial nerves branch from the brain: the olfactory (cranial nerve I), the optic (cranial nerve II), the oculomotor (cranial nerve III), the trochlear (cranial nerve IV), the trigeminal (cranial nerve V), the abducent (cranial nerve VI), the facial (cranial nerve VII), the acoustic (cranial nerve VIII), the glossopharyngeal (cranial nerve IX), the vagus (cranial nerve X), the accessory (cranial nerve XI), and the hypoglossal (cranial nerve XII). Only the first ten pairs are present in fish and amphibians.

In man there are 31 pairs of spinal nerves: eight cervical, 12 thoracic, five lumbar, five sacral, and one coccygeal. Each pair innervates the effectors and receptors of a certain part of the body. The spinal nerves branch from the spinal cord into two roots—the posterior, or sensory, and the anterior, or motor. Both roots then combine to form a common trunk that consists of both sensory and motor fibers.

Several adjacent nerves can be combined into nerve plexuses, where an exchange of fibers between different nerves can take place. Three large plexuses are distinguished: the cervical, the brachial, and the lumbosacral. Each nerve plexus is the origin of several pairs of nerves; for example, the sacral portion of the lumbosacral plexus gives rise to the sciatic nerves.

Nerves that originate in the ganglia, trunks, and plexuses of the autonomic nervous system constitute a specific group. The optic nerve is remarkable for its large number of fibers; there are more than 1 million in the human optic nerve. Usually, however, there are 103 -104 fibers in a nerve. In invertebrates certain nerves are known to consist of only a few fibers. The peripheral nervous system in animals and man consists of aggregations of nerves.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A bundle of nerve fibers or processes held together by connective tissue.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Any one of the ribs of a groined vault, but esp. a rib which forms one of the sides of a compartment of the groining.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. any of the cordlike bundles of fibres that conduct sensory or motor impulses between the brain or spinal cord and another part of the body
2. a large vein in a leaf
3. any of the veins of an insect's wing
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed the presence of a fluid-filled mass, likely presenting a ganglion cyst, around the fibular neck, which compressed the common peroneal nerve (Fig.1).
The superficial peroneal nerve originates at the bifurcation of the common peroneal nerve. It passes deep to the peroneus longus and continues anteroinferiorly between the peroneus longus, peroneus brevis, and extensor digitorum longus before piercing the deep fascia in the distal third of the leg.
In this report, we presented 3 cases with bilateral common peroneal nerve palsy (CPNP) following cardiac surgery.
Management and outcomes in 318 operative common peroneal nerve lesions at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Neurosurgery 2004;54:1421-8; discussion 28-9.
Ulnar motor nerve conduction velocities and common peroneal nerve conduction velocities measured during various phases of the cycle have been depicted in (Tables 3 and 4), respectively.
The keywords "total hip replacement/hip prosthesis" were matched with "sciatic nerve palsy", "common peroneal nerve palsy", "motor nerve palsy", "sciatic nerve injury", and "nerve palsy", taking into account only papers in English.
Gulik and colleagues, "The Anatomic Relationship of the Tibial Nerve to the Common Peroneal Nerve in the Popliteal Fossa: Implications for Selective Tibial Nerve Block in Total Knee Arthroplasty" by E.
Prior to dissecting the plane between the ITB and biceps femoris, the common peroneal nerve should be visualized as it runs deep to the biceps tendon and around the neck of the fibula.
Muscles tested according to the nerves were: a) ulnar nerve (abductor digiti minimi), b) median nerve (abductor pollicis brevis), c) radial nerve (extensor carpi radialis and extensor carpi ulnaris), d) common peroneal nerve (tibialis anterior, peroneus longus and brevis) and e) posterior tibial nerve (small intrinsic muscles of feet).
However, the motor nerve conduction velocity (MCV) of bilateral tibial nerves and left common peroneal nerve, and the sensory nerve conduction velocity (SCV) of right sural nerve and superficial fibular nerve were all slow, with normal amplitude.