Background Surgical approach to the posterior sole or heel is commonly used for various orthopedic procedures. The objective of this cadaver study was to identify the risks to local neurovascular structures using an approach to the posterior sole or heel and to define the safe zone for minimizing the risk of injury. Methods Eleven fresh-frozen cadaver limbs were used. A layered dissection was performed from skin to neurovascular structures. Distances of the entire foot length, the lateral plantar nerve from the heel, the calcaneocuboid joint from the heel, the nerve to abductor digiti minimi from the heel, and the lateral plantar nerve from the calcaneocuboid joint; and depth of the lateral plantar nerve from skin of sole in the midline, and angle of the lateral plantar nerve to the midline axis were measured. Results The mean entire foot length was 2,29.1 (range 215-250) mm. Location of the lateral plantar nerve from the heel in the dissecting midline axis was a mean of 93.5 (range 86-104) mm. Calcaneocuboid joint was located at a mean of 75.7 (range 70-85) mm from heel in the midline axis. The nerve to abductor digiti minimi was located at a mean of 48.1 (range 41-55) mm from the heel. Lateral plantar nerve was located at a mean of 19.4 (range 16-23) mm distal to the calcaneocuboid joint in the midline level. The angle at which the lateral plantar nerve crossed the dissecting midline incision was at a mean of 13.8° (range 9-20°). Conclusions Based on these results, we defined the safe zone for the surgical approach to the posterior sole as anterior to the nerve to the abductor digiti minimi in the midline axis and posterior to the calcaneocuboid joint. There were no significant neurovascular structures observed in this zone.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine