JOURNAL ARTICLE

Saphenous and Infrapatellar Nerves at the Adductor Canal: Anatomy and Implications in Regional Anesthesia

Sofia Anagnostopoulou, George Anagnostis, Theodosios Saranteas, Andreas F Mavrogenis, Tilemachos Paraskeuopoulos
Orthopedics 2016, 39 (2): e259-62
26840698
Conflicting data exist regarding the anatomical relationship of the saphenous and infrapatellar nerves at the adductor canal and the location of the superior foramen of the canal. Therefore, the authors performed a cadaveric study to detail the relationship and course of the saphenous and infrapatellar nerves and the level of the superior foramen of the canal. The adductor canal and subsartorial compartment were dissected in 17 human cadavers. The distance between the superior foramen of the canal and the mid-distance (MD) between the base of the patella and the anterior superior iliac crest were measured; the course of the saphenous and infrapatellar nerves and the level of origin of the infrapatellar branch were detailed. In 13 of 17 specimens, the superior foramen of the adductor canal was distal to the MD (mean, 6.5 cm); in the remaining specimens, it was proximal to the MD. In 12 of 17 specimens, the infrapatellar branch exited the canal separately from the saphenous nerve; in the remaining specimens, it originated caudally to the canal. In all dissections, the infrapatellar branch had a constant course in close proximity to the saphenous nerve within the canal and between the sartorious muscle and femoral artery caudally to the canal. Most commonly, the superior foramen of the adductor canal is located caudally to the MD; the infrapatellar branch originates from the saphenous nerve within the canal and has a constant course in close proximity to the saphenous nerve. These observations should be considered for regional anesthesia techniques at the adductor canal.

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