Peroneal Nerve

Published on 08/03/2015 by admin

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Last modified 08/03/2015

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Chapter 17 Peroneal Nerve


The peroneal nerve is a distinct component of the sciatic nerve from its point of origin (Figure 17-1). The nerve diverges from the tibial nerve at the upper end of the popliteal fossa (Figure 17-2). The nerve runs downward and laterally toward the neck of the fibula. The nerve can be palpated against the neck of the fibula (Figure 17-3).

The peroneal nerve is immediately deep to the investing fascia; it runs along the upper border of the lateral head of the gastrocnemius, medial to the biceps tendon (which inserts into the fibular head).

The medial side of the biceps tendon can be similar in appearance to the peroneal nerve.

The peroneal component of the sural nerve complex is given off at a variable point in the peroneal nerve’s passage through the popliteal fossa. The caliber of this branch varies, and it is impossible to predict the relative contributions of the tibial and peroneal contributions to the sural nerve complex.

At the neck of the fibula the nerve runs under arching peroneus longus fibers. The edge of this arch may be fibrous and is the site of potential entrapment of the nerve.

Within the substance of peroneus longus, at the level of the neck of the fibula, the nerve divides into superficial and deep branches and gives off three articular branches (Figure 17-4).

The superficial nerve spirals around the neck of the fibula and supplies the peroneal compartment, which is bounded by the fibula, the investing fascia, and two fascial septa. Having supplied the peroneal muscles, the superficial peroneal nerve pierces the investing fascia. Its cutaneous branches can frequently be seen or palpated on the dorsal aspect of the ankle joint.

The deep branch supplies the tibialis anterior, extensor hallucis longus, extensor digitorum longus, and peroneus tertius muscles (primarily with axons derived from the L5 spinal nerve).

From its origin at the neck of the fibula, the deep branch runs deep to the extensor digitorum longus and runs between that muscle and the tibialis anterior with the anterior tibial vessels. (Figure 17-5)

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