Superficial fibular nerve variations of fascial piercing: A meta-analysis and clinical consideration

K A Tomaszewski, M J Graves, J Vikse, P A Pękala, B Sanna, B M Henry, R S Tubbs, J A Walocha
Clinical Anatomy 2017, 30 (1): 120-125
The superficial fibular (peroneal) nerve (SFN) is one of the successive branches of the common fibular (peroneal) nerve and goes on to bifurcate into the medial dorsal cutaneous (MDN) and intermediate dorsal cutaneous (IDN) nerves. The SFN is a main contributor to sensory innervation of the foot and lower leg. It varies widely in its penetrance of the deep (crural) fascia, and differences in its subsequent course can result in iatrogenic injuries. Articles on the prevalence of this anatomical variation were identified by a comprehensive database search. The data collected were extracted and pooled into a meta-analysis. A total of 14 articles (n = 665 lower limbs) were included on the meta-analysis of SFN variations in fascial piercing. The normal Type 1 variation, where the SFN pierces the deep fascia as a single entity and later bifurcates into the MDN and IDN, had a pooled prevalence of 82.7% (95%CI: 74.0-89.4). The Type 2 variant, where the SFN bifurcates early and then pierces the fascial layer separately as the MDN and IDN, had a pooled prevalence of 15.6% (95%CI: 8.9-23.6). Type 3, when the SFN penetrates the deep fascia and courses similar to the MDN with absent IDN was noted in 1.8% (95%CI: 0.0-4.9) of cases. A substantial portion of the population has a pattern of SFN piercing that deviates from the normal Type 1 anatomy. It is recommended that possible SFN variants in patients should be addressed thoroughly to help prevent iatrogenic injuries and postoperative complications. Clin. Anat. 30:120-125, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"