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Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus III: Nervous System: Plexuses: Common Peroneal

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus III: Nervous System: Plexuses

Common Peroneal

Ronald A. Bergman, PhD
Adel K. Afifi, MD, MS
Ryosuke Miyauchi, MD

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed

The sciatic usually divides into the common peroneal and tibial nerves at the level of the lower thigh. Very often these two nerves arise separately from the sacral plexus. They may be separated in the greater sciatic foramen by the piriformis muscle and pass into the thigh as contiguous but separate structures.

Huelke (1958) reported that the peroneal communicating nerve arose directly from the common peroneal nerve in 54.7%, usually as a branch separate from the lateral sural cutaneous nerve (41.5%).

The peroneal communicating nerve gave rise to the lateral sural cutaneous branches in 13.2% of sides studied (198 adult lower extremities). The peroneal communicating nerve was a terminal branch of the lateral sural cutaneous nerve in one-third of the sides, and arose from a trunk common to it and to the lateral sural cutaneous nerve in 12%.

The peroneal communicating nerve was absent in 19.7% of the 198 sides, and, due to its absence, no sural nerve was formed in these cases. When this occurs, it is usually the medial sural cutaneous nerve that passes onto the dorsum of the foot as the lateral dorsal cutaneous nerve. Only 58.6% of the cadavers had the same type of origin of the peroneal communicating nerve in both legs. No significant differences were found between the right and left sides, between sexes, or the place where the peroneal communicating or sural nerves arose. The union between the peroneal communicating and the medial sural cutaneous nerves was seen on 159 sides (80.3%). This union took place more often in the lower half of the leg.

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