Clinical Implications of the Surgical Anatomy of the Sural Nerve


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Abstract

The exact anatomy of the sural nerve remains important for many clinical situations. To better understand this anatomy, 25 embalmed and 10 fresh cadaver pairs were studied. The origin of the common sural nerve in relation to the fibular head and its medial and lateral sural components were investigated. The lateral sural nerve was absent in 4 percent of the embalmed cadavers. The lateral and medial sural nerves united in the popliteal fossa in 12 percent and in the lower third of the leg in 84 percent of the cadavers. A site was identified where the lateral sural and lateral cutaneous nerve of the calf pierced the deep fascia. This site was centered about the fibular head and may be viewed as a potential site of nerve compression. There is application of these findings to nerve grafting, neuroma prevention and treatment, and sural nerve biopsy.

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