Injury to the common peroneal nerve was present in 14 of 55 patients (25%) with dislocation of the knee. All underwent ligament reconstruction. The most common presenting direction of the dislocation was anterior or anteromedial with associated disruption of both cruciate ligaments and the posterolateral structures of the knee. Palsy of the common peroneal nerve was present in 14 of 34 (41%) of these patients. Complete rupture of the nerve was seen in four patients and a lesion in continuity in ten. Three patients with lesions in continuity, but with less than 7 cm of the nerve involved, had complete recovery within six to 18 months. In the remaining seven with more extensive lesions, two regained no motor function, and one had only MRC grade-2 function. Four patients regained some weak dorsiflexion or eversion (MRC grade 3 or 4). Some sensory recovery occurred in all seven of these patients, but was incomplete. In summary, complete recovery occurred in three (21%) and partial recovery of useful motor function in four (29%). In the other seven (50%) no useful motor or sensory function returned.

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