Research Article| Volume 57, ISSUE 3, P537-542, May 2018

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Anatomic Study of Anterior and Posterior Ankle Portal Sites for Ankle Arthroscopy in Plantarflexion and Dorsiflexion: A Cadaveric Study in the Japanese Population

Published:March 13, 2018DOI:


      Arthroscopy is an important and minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic tool. However, the risk of injury to the neurovascular structures around the portals exists during arthroscopy of the ankle. In the present study, we measured the distance between each portal and the adjacent neurovascular structures with the foot in plantarflexion and dorsiflexion in the Japanese population. Standard anterolateral (AL), anteromedial, posterolateral (PL), and posteromedial portal positions were identified in 6 fresh adult cadaveric feet. The skin was dissected from the underlying tissue to visualize the adjacent neurovascular structures as noninvasively as possible. The superficial peroneal nerve was the structure closest to an anterior (i.e., AL) portal (3.2 ± 4.2 and 8.3 ± 3.9 mm in plantarflexion and 5.2 ± 4.3 and 10.8 ± 4.1 mm in dorsiflexion), followed by the saphenous nerve and great saphenous vein (SpV). The distance from the superficial peroneal nerve to the AL portal and from the saphenous nerve and great SpV to the anteromedial portal increased significantly with dorsiflexion and decreased significantly with plantarflexion. The sural nerve was the structure closest to the posterior (i.e., PL) portal (10.4 ± 4.8 mm in plantarflexion and 8.5 ± 3.9 mm in dorsiflexion), followed by the lesser SpV. The distance from the sural nerve, saphenous nerve, and lesser SpV to the PL portal and from flexor hallucis longus, posterior tibial artery, and tibial nerve to the posteromedial portal increased significantly in plantarflexion and decreased significantly in dorsiflexion. These findings could help to prevent damage to the neurovascular structures during ankle arthroscopy.

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