Anatomical Study of the Infrapatellar Branch of the Saphenous Nerve with Applications to Knee Surgery

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Ricardo Berriel Mendes; Victor Hugo Faria Laranja; Sheijy Sergio Vieira Mogami; Max Rogerio Freitas Ramos; Lucas Alves Sarmento Pires; Leonardo de Oliveira Figueiredo & Marcio Antonio Babinski


The infrapatellar branch of the saphenous nerve is a cutaneous nerve that innervates the area surrounding the patella and contributes to the peripatellar plexus. This nerve is target to iatrogenic injuries during a great deal of knee procedures, such as tendon harvesting, total knee arthroplasty and medial arthroscopic approaches to the knee. Lesion to this nerve can produce sensorial loss at its innervation territory. The study conducted herein aims to observe the anatomical aspects of the infrapatellar branch in cadaveric specimens. The infrapatellar branch of the saphenous nerve of 40 male cadavers was dissected with the purpose of identifying the number of branches, its relation with the patella, tibial tuberosity and sartorius muscle. The nerve was dissected and several measurements were performed with the aid of a digital caliper. Statistical analysis was performed with the MedCalc 16.1 software. The infrapatellar branch of the saphenous nerve was present in 100 % of the sample. Its mean distance from its origin to its branching point was 16.35±6.48 mm on the right and 21.94±4.31 mm on the left, with statistically significant differences (p < 0.05). A relatively safe zone for surgery was observed on the superior and medial aspect of the patella, which received less branches.

KEY WORDS: Infrapatellar branch; Saphenous nerve; Knee surgery; Safe zones; Iatrogenic injury.

How to cite this article

MENDES, R. B.; LARANJA, V. H. F.; MOGAMI, S. S. V.; RAMOS, M. R. F.; PIRES, L. A. S.; FIGUEIREDO, L. O. & BABINSKI, M. A. Anatomical study of the infrapatellar branch of the saphenous nerve with applications to knee surgery. Int. J. Morphol., 37(4):1258- 1261, 2019.