Grothaus, Matthew C MD *; Holt, Marston MD *; Mekhail, Anis O MD *; Ebraheim, Nabil A MD *; Yeasting, Richard A PHD +
The purpose of our study was to determine the location of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve and its branches at the inguinal ligament and proximal thigh. We think that further defining the location of the nerve and its branches based on certain measurements from known anatomic landmarks would enable us to determine a danger zone that could aid in preventing iatrogenic injury to the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve. The anatomic course of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve was studied in 29 cadaver specimens and distances from various landmarks were recorded. In addition, the branching pattern of the nerves was recorded. We observed variability in the course and branching patterns of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve. The lateral femoral cutaneous nerve was found to potentially be at risk as far as 7.3 cm medial to the anterior superior iliac spine along the inguinal ligament and as much as 11.3 cm distal on the sartorius muscle from the anterior superior iliac spine. As many as five branches of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve were found and in 27.6% of cases the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve branched before traversing the inguinal ligament. We used this information to describe a danger zone, which could be used as a guide to help prevent unnecessary injury during certain procedures.
Clinical Orthopaedics & Related Research. (437):164-168, August 2005.