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Compressive Neuropathies Complicating Normal Childbirth: Case Report and Literature Review

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Background: Peroneal neuropathy has been well described in the literature, but few cases have been reported of bilateral peroneal neuropathy as a complication of normal childbirth. Most reported cases are due to prolonged squatting during childbirth, which is prevalent in certain countries. Case report: A 30-year-old woman developed bilateral footdrop shortly after normal vaginal delivery under epidural analgesics. Neurological examination and electrodiagnostic studies confirmed bilateral common peroneal mononeuropathy most likely secondary to prolonged and excessive pressure around the knees by attendants who were assisting at the delivery. The woman showed significant improvement of her symptoms after physical therapy and assisted devices. Conclusions: Excessive and prolonged pressure knee holding during normal childbirth may result in compressive peripheral neuropathy. Patient education and awareness among the labor and delivery team will prevent this avoidable complication. (BIRTH 34:2 June 2007)
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Keywords: nerve compression syndromes; obstetric delivery complications; peroneal nerve injuries

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Soma Sahai-Srivastava is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Lilyana Amezcua is Fellow of Neurology at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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