Anatomic bases of ankle arthroscopy: study of superficial and deep peroneal nerves around anterolateral and anterocentral approach

M Takao, Y Uchio, N Shu, M Ochi
Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy: SRA 1998, 20 (5): 317-20
We studied the anatomy of the anterolateral and anterocentral portal sites for ankle arthroscopy with reference to the superficial peroneal nerve (SPN) in 29 cadavers (51 ankles) and the deep peroneal nerve (DPN) in 11 cadavers (21 ankles). In relation to the level of division into the medial and intermediate cutaneous nerves and their terminal branches, we classified the structure of the SPN surrounding the ankle into five types. We also identified the point where the SPN and the DPN cross the level of the talocrural joint. 32% of specimens had different SPN division types on the two sides and there was an average of 2 nerves at the level of the talocrural joint. Branches of the SPN were found lateral to the edge of the peroneus tertius tendon in 11.8% of specimens, and at its lateral edge in 27.5%. The DPN and some branches of the SPN were positioned around the lateral edge of the extensor hallucis longus tendon. We consider that the anterolateral portal should be made at least 2 mm lateral to the peroneus tertius tendon to avoid injury to the SPN, since the diameter of the scope is 27 mm. The anterocentral portal is unsuitable for arthroscopy due to a high risk of injury to the DPN and branches of the SPN.

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