European Journal of Anatomy

Official Journal of The Spanish Society of Anatomy
/> Cover Volume 17 - Number 1
Eur J Anat, 17 (1): 35-38 (2013)

Topographical mapping of the posterior interosseous nerve in surgical approaches to theproximal third of the radius

Gargi Soni, Lovesh Shukla, Neha Gaur, Suryamani Pandey

Maharaja Agrasen Medical College, Agroha-125047, Hisar, Haryana, India

ABSTRACT The posterior interosseus nerve, the deep branch of the radial nerve, is vulnerable to injury during internal fixation of radial head fractures. It arises from the radial nerve in front of the lateral epicondyle of the humerus. The aims of this study are to find the distance of the posterior interosseus nerve from the lateral epicondyle of the humerus at its entry point into the supinator muscle and its exit point from the supinator muscle; to evaluate the correlation between these distances with the length of the forearm and epicondylar width; and also to find a safe zone for approaching the proximal part of the radius, in order to minimize the chances of injury to the posterior interosseus nerve. 23 upper limbs obtained from formalin-fixed cadavers were dissected for their posterior interosseus nerve. All distances were measured with the help of sliding calipers and a measuring tape. Statistical analyses were performed using ‘SYSTAT 12 Pearson coefficient analysis’. The mean distance of the posterior interosseous nerve from the lateral epicondyle of the humerus to the posterior interosseus nerve, at its entry point into the supinator muscle and its exit point from supinator muscle, were found to be 4 cm and 8 cm, respectively. A statistically significant correlation between the length of the forearm and the exit of the posterior interosseous nerve from the supinator muscle was found (p-value=0.003). The present study concludes that the safe zone for the posterior interosseous nerve is 3.1 cm distal to the lateral epicondyle of the humerus. These data should be of help to orthopedic surgeons in minimizing the risk of injury to the posterior interosseus nerve while approaching the proximal part of the radius.

Keywords: Posterior interosseus nerve, Supinator muscle, Lateral epicondyle

European Journal of anatomy
ISSN 2340-311X (Online)