Peripheral Nerve Schwannoma: A Review of Varying Clinical Presentations and Imaging Findings

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Abstract

A schwannoma or neurilemmoma is a benign, isolated, noninvasive, and encapsulated tumor originating from Schwann cells of the peripheral nerve sheath. The incidence of a schwannoma occurring in the foot and ankle is rare, with prevalence rate of 1% to 10%. Schwannomas have no sex predilection, and they commonly occur in patients in their fourth decade. Malignant transformation of benign schwannoma is unusual; however, it is important to note that malignant variants of schwannomas do exist and account for about 5% to 10% of all soft tissue sarcomas. We present 3 cases of benign schwannoma in the lower extremity. All 3 patients presented with varying clinical symptoms, including pain, paresthesia, weakness, and a palpable mass. A schwannoma was eventually diagnosed in all 3 patients. We discuss and review the known entities of peripheral nerve schwannoma and describe the clinical and imaging findings and therapeutic strategies for treating and diagnosing peripheral nerve schwannoma.

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