Cryotherapy-induced common peroneal nerve palsy

James L. Moeller, Jeffrey Monroe, Douglas B. McKeag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Purpose: To report an uncommon complication of distal hamstring icing, cryotherapy-induced common peroneal nerve palsy. Case summary: A 22-year-old football player applied ice to his distal hamstring for 20 min because of soreness. This application of ice resulted in foot drop and sensory changes in the anterior lower leg and dorsum of the foot. Over the next year, full clinical neurologic function returned. Discussion: Previously reported cases of cryotherapy-induced common peroneal nerve palsy involved lateral knee or circumferential thigh icing with nerve injury at the fibular neck. This case involved distal hamstring icing, and nerve injury occurred more proximally. Relevance: This case demonstrates that caution should be used even when using a modality as common as ice. Ice exposure should be limited in patients with low body fat or in areas where a nerve is not well protected by subcutaneous tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-216
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Journal of Sport Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1997


  • Cryotherapy
  • Football
  • Hamstring
  • Peroneal nerve palsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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