Variations in the course of the common peroneal nerve in the Kenyan population: a cadaveric study
Background: The branches of the sciatic nerve are the common peroneal nerve and the tibial nerve. The common peroneal nerve is at most risk of injury during surgery due to its subcutaneous course at the back of the head of the fibula and at the neck of the fibula.
Objective: To demonstrate variations in the course of the common peroneal nerve in the Kenyan population.
Design: Anatomic descriptive cross sectional study that was conducted in the Moi University human anatomy laboratory.
Methods: Forty three right sided limbs were dissected (32 male, 11 female). Lateral approach to the knee was done as per Stanton. Data was collected into data sheets and fed into an electronic database. Photographs were also taken. Data was analysed and presented in means and medians.
Results: In one limb, the nerve emerged from the pelvis separate from the tibial nerve, proximal third of thigh (4 limbs-9.3%), middle thigh (8 limbs-18.6%), distal thigh (30 limbs-69.8%).The measurements of main trunk (mm) were: a mean of 212.6(±124.9), and median of 153(138, 230). The nerve branched inside the peroneus longus muscle in 39 limbs (91%), and remainder outside the peroneus longus.
Conclusion: In this population, the common peroneal nerve bifurcated from the sciatic nerve in the distal third of the thigh. This is important to know during surgeries in the knee and distal third of the thigh. In 9% of cases, the nerve divided into its 5 branches outside the peroneus longus muscle. This is especially important to know when performing knee arthroscopies and total knee replacements.
Keywords: Course, CPN