The course of the superior gluteal nerve in the lateral approach to the hip.

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The superior gluteal nerve and its branches were dissected bilaterally in ten cadavera. The patterns of branching and the distribution of the branches were identified. The reference point for measurements was the mid-point of the superior border of the greater trochanter. Two patterns of neural branching were thus established. The points of termination of all branches formed an arcuate pattern along the middle one-third of the deep surface of the gluteus medius muscle. The so-called safe area of the gluteus medius muscle was found to be as much as five centimeters adjacent to the greater trochanter. If this distance is not exceeded by the intramuscular incision, the risk to the superior gluteal nerve and its branches will be minimum.

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