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We aimed to explore the prevalence of peroneal neuropathy in children during coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, many children worldwide have experienced a dramatic lifestyle changes, including conducting most daily activities indoors. Peroneal nerve palsy is one of the most common entrapment neuropathies and circumstances as prolonged immobilization or leg crossing predisposes an individual to peroneal neuropathy.
This is a case–control retrospective study that included patients referred to our neurophysiology clinic with foot drop. We compared the prevalence of spontaneous peroneal neuropathy 1 year before (April 2019/March 2020) and 1 year during the COVID-19 pandemic (April 2020/March 2021); and we also continued collecting data prospectively between April and September 2021 analysis the whole pandemic period.
Totally, 399 patient clinical notes and NCS/EMG reports were reviewed, 220 were evaluated 1 year before and 179 1 year during COVID-19 pandemic. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a higher prevalence of peroneal neuropathy (odds ratio 4.74, 95%CI 1.30–17.25, p = 0.0183). In the COVID group (n = 11), mean age was 14 years and 63.4% were males. Mean age was 15 years and 66.7% were males in the Control group (n = 3). There was a significant difference in the time from symptoms onset to the neurophysiology assessment, with a mean time of 14 days in the Control group and 87.5 days in the COVID group.
This study provides evidence that during the COVID-19 pandemic period, there was a higher prevalence of peroneal neuropathy among children. Strategies to prevent peroneal neuropathy should be recommened to this age group.
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