Predictability of Lower Extremity Peripheral Nervous Anatomy


Lower extremity nervous anatomy is highly variable. This study sought to determine relationships of lower extremity peripheral nerves to anatomic landmarks. Sixteen well-preserved lower extremities were dissected. The distance from each nerve point of interest to relevant landmarks was measured in standardized fashion. The sciatic nerve divided on average 26.0% ± 5% of the distance from the superior aspect of the fibula to the greater trochanter proximal to the knee joint line [Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC) = 0.764]. The superficial peroneal nerve pierced the crural fascia at an average of 28.0% ± 6% of the fibular length proximal to the lateral malleolus (PCC = 0.718). The deep peroneal nerve emerged between the tibialis anterior and extensor hallucis longus on average 2.7% ± 0.4% of the fibular length proximal to the tibiotalar joint line (PCC = 0.530). While there was substantial variability in the course of lower extremity peripheral nerves, the study found strong correlation with femur and fibula length within each specimen. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 26(4):206–210, 2017) Key words: common peroneal, deep peroneal, lower extremity, nervous anatomy, sciatic, superficial

Austin Fares, BS; Nicholas Kusnezov, MD; John C. Dunn, MD; Heather Balsiger, MS; James Showery, BS; Mark Hsiao, MD; and Justin Orr, MD