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Size and separability of the calcaneal and the medial and lateral plantar nerves in the distal tibial nerve

Authors
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Springer Japan KK
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Disciplines
  • Design

Abstract

ORIGINAL ARTICLE Size and separability of the calcaneal and the medial and lateral plantar nerves in the distal tibial nerve Lotte N. S. Andreasen Struijk Æ Henrik Birn Æ Peter S. Teglbjærg Æ Jens Haase Æ Johannes J. Struijk Received: 25 November 2008 / Accepted: 15 April 2009 / Published online: 16 May 2009 � Japanese Association of Anatomists 2009 Abstract The tibial nerve (TN) has three main terminal branches: the medial and lateral plantar nerves and the calcaneal branch (CB), which innervates the foot sole. The design and implantation of nerve cuff electrodes with separate channels for each of these three terminal branches would provide significant sensory information, which can be used in functional electrical stimulation systems to assist standing or to correct foot drop. Detailed quantitative anatomical data about fascicular size and separability of the terminal branches of TN are needed for the design and implantation of such cuff electrodes. Therefore, the branching pattern, the fascicular separability and the fas- cicular size of the TN posterior to the medial malleolar- calcaneal axis were examined in this study, using ten human TN specimens. The TN branching patterns were highly dispersed. For the CBs, multiple branches were identified in five (50%) of the specimens. For the TN, the bifurcation point was located within the tarsal tunnel in eight (80%) of the cases. The distance proximal to the medial malleolar-calcaneal axis for which the TN could be split ranged form 0 to 41 mm. Quantitative and qualitative data were obtained for the fascicular size and separability of the TN. Only the CB of the TN proved separable for a sufficient length for nerve cuff electrode implantation. The results suggest the use of a two-channel cuff with one common channel for the lateral and medial plantar nerves, having multiple electrodes for selective recording, and one channel for the CB. Keywords Tibial bifurcation and fascicular d

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