Surgical anatomy of sensory portion of superficial fibular nerve for harvesting nerve grafts from fetuses



The use of superficial fibular nerve (Sfn) as a potential donor nerve in nerve grafting has been introduced. The limited availability of donor nerves has paved the way for nerve allografting. We studied the sensory portion of Sfn in 60 limbs from 30 fetuses. Three distinct patterns of the nerve were designated as Types 1, 2, and 3 by us. Type 1 (66.67%) comprised Sfn piercing fascia cruris then branching into Mdn and Idn. Type 2 (21.67%) was a pattern where Sfn penetrated deep fascia then continued undivided over the dorsum of foot. Type 3 (11.67%) was where Mdn and Idn penetrated deep fascia independently. The study provided quantitative measurement data of the sensory portion of Sfn and its branching nerves with respect to osseous landmarks like the head of fibula and the malleoli. Such data may be of help in defining nerve segments suitable for harvesting in nerve grafts from fetuses. Clin. Anat. 23:726–731, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.