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Tibial nerve branching in the tarsal tunnel.

Foot & Ankle 1988 December
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is an infrequent and probably underdiagnosed clinical condition. Diagnosis and treatment depend on understanding the tibial branching pattern within the tarsal tunnel. A total of 68 foot dissections were performed. Bifurcation into the medial and lateral plantar nerves occurred within the tunnel in 93% and proximal in 7%. Proximal bifurcation may predispose to tarsal tunnel syndrome, and its infrequent occurrence correlates with the infrequent clinical diagnosis. Nine different calcaneal branching patterns were noted; they provide an anatomical explanation for heel sparing. An understanding of anatomic variations should aid in providing complete surgical release and in avoiding accidental heel denervations.

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