A morphological study to note the variable patterns of cutaneous innervation on the dorsum of foot in south Indian human foetuses and its clinical implications


Department of Anatomy, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India


Background: Cutaneous nerves on the dorsum of foot are at risk for iatrogenic damage while performing arthroscopy, local anaesthetic block, surgical approach to the fibula, open reduction and internal fixation of lateral malleolar fractures, application of external fixators, elevation of a fasciocutaneous or fibular flaps for grafting, surgical decompression of neurovascular structures, or miscellaneous surgery on leg, foot and ankle. Hence the present study was undertaken to classify the different patterns of cutaneous innervation on the dorsum of foot of foetuses which will help in minimizing iatrogenic damage to the nerves.
Materials and Methods: A total of 40 lower limbs from 20 foetuses were dissected and the branching patterns of nerves were noted and specimens were photographed.
Results: Four distinct patterns of innervation with additional subtypes were identified and designated as Type 1 a-g; 2 a-d; 3; 4 a-c.
Conclusion: Detailed knowledge about the pattern of cutaneous innervation of dorsum of foot may decrease the damage to these nerves during operative procedures near the foot and ankle.


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