The Common Fibular Nerve (and its Branches) in Fetuses

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D. Chetty; P. Pillay; L. Lazarus & K. S. Satyapal


The common fibular nerve (CFN), is a branch of the sciatic nerve (SN) that exits the popliteal fossa and is located at the tuberculum of the fibula. At the tuberculum of the fibula, the CFN bifurcates into deep (DFN) and superficial (SFN) fibular nerves. Forty fetuses were micro-dissected to (i) describe the course of the CFN in relation to the tuberculum and neck of the fibula in fetuses; (ii) describe the branches, distribution and relation of the DFN and SFN to muscles within the anterolateral compartment of the leg. The CFN, DFN and SFN were present in all specimens dissected; the CFN measured a mean length (mm) of 16.03 and 16.69 on the right and left sides respectively. Bifurcation of the CFN related to the tuberculum of fibula (right; left) - above 20/80 (25%); 14/80 (17.5%); below 6/80 (7.5%); 10/80 (12.5%) and at the tuberculum 54/80 (67.5%); 56/80 (70%). The DFN bifurcated into medial and lateral branches in 68/80 (85%) and 54/80 (67.5%) on the right and left sides, respectively. The SFN bifurcated into a medial branch in 78/80 (97.5%) and 76/80 (95%) on right and left sides, respectively and a lateral branch in 78/80 (97.5%) and 76/80 (95%) on right and left sides, respectively. The course and distribution of the CFN, DFN and SFN were consistent with the literature reviewed and descriptions found in standard anatomical textbooks. However, our findings show that the DFN has a variable number of branching patterns, which is unique to this fetal study and an intermediate branch of the SFN which was recorded in 3/80 cases.

KEY WORDS: Common fibular nerve; Deep fibular nerve; Superficial fibular nerve.

How to cite this article

CHETTY, D.; PILLAY, P.; LAZARUS, L. & SATYAPAL, K. S. The common fibular nerve (and its branches) in fetuses. Int. J. Morphol., 32(2):455-460, 2014.