Anatomic Relations Between Ankle Arthroscopic Portal Sites and the Superficial Peroneal and Saphenous Nerves

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Ankles from 100 cadavers were dissected to evaluate the risk of nerve injury from an arthroscopic procedure. A total of 65 cadavers (104 ankles) were examined to assess the course of the peroneal nerve, and 35 cadavers (77 ankles) were examined for the saphenous nerve (SN). In 82% of specimens, the superficial peroneal nerve ran between the lateral border of the talocrural joint and the peroneus tertius tendon at the talocrural joint level, where the anterolateral portal was placed. Therefore, the superficial peroneal nerve was at high risk for injury with anterolateral portal placement. At the anteromedial portal site, between the medial border of the talocrural joint and the tibialis anterior tendon, the SN coursed an average of 6 ± 5 mm medial to the medial border of the talocrural joint. SNs in this area were all terminal branches; therefore, anteromedial portal placement avoids nerve injury.

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