Anatomic Landmarks for a Safe Arthroscopic Approach to the Deep Gluteal Space: A Cadaveric Study

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Bruno Capurro; Marc Tey; Joan Carles Monllau; Ana Carrera; Fernando Marques & Francisco Reina


To determine the morphometric landmarks and anatomical variants relevant to the arthroscopic approach to the deep gluteal space. Twenty deep gluteal spaces from cadaveric specimens were dissected. The anatomical variants of the sciatic nerve (SN) were determined according to the Beaton and Anson classification. A morphometric study of the distances in the subgluteal space was carried out to define the anatomical references to achieve a safe arthroscopic approach for piriformis syndrome [GT-SN=Distance from greater trochanter (GT) to SN emergence; GT-IT=Distance from GT to ischial tuberosity (IT); GT-IGA=distance from GT to inferior gluteal artery (IGA) emergence; IT-SN=distance from IT to SN emergence; IT-IGA=distance from IT to IGA]. The SN showed the most frequent anatomical pattern with an undivided nerve coming out of the pelvis below the piriformis muscle (Beaton type A) in 16 specimens (80 %). The common peroneal nerve emergence in the subgluteal space through the piriformis muscle (PM) with the tibial nerve being located at the lower margin of the piriformis muscle (Beaton type B) was observed in 4 specimens (20 %). The morphometric measurements of the surgical area of study were: GT-SN=7.23 cm (±8.3); GT-IT=8.56 cm (±0.1); GT-IGA=8.46 cm (±0.97); IT-SN=5.28 cm (±0.73), IT- IGA=5.47 cm (±0.74). When planning surgery for the deep gluteal syndrome in adult patients, the fact that the emergence of the SN in the subgluteal space is approximately 7 cm from the greater trochanter and 5 cm from the ischial tuberosity must be considered.

KEY WORDS: Surgical anatomy; Deep gluteal space; Sciatic nerve; Hip arthroscopy.

How to cite this article

CAPURRO, B.; TEY, M.; MONLLAU, J. C.; CARRERA, A.; MARQUES, F. & REINA, F. Anatomic landmarks for a safe arthroscopic approach to the deep gluteal space: A cadaveric study. Int. J. Morphol., 39(2):359-365, 2021.