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Surg Neurol Int. 2012;3:15. doi: 10.4103/2152-7806.92929. Epub 2012 Feb 15.

Exposure of the sciatic nerve in the gluteal region without sectioning the gluteus maximus: Analysis of a series of 18 cases.

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1
Department of Neurosurgery, Hospital de Clínicas, University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Dissecting through the gluteus maximus muscle by splitting its fibers, instead of complete sectioning of the muscle, is faster, involves less damage to tissues, and diminishes recovery time. The objective of the current paper is to present a clinical series of sciatic nerve lesions where the nerve was sufficiently exposed via the transgluteal approach.

METHODS:

We retrospectively selected 18 traumatic sciatic nerve lesions within the buttock, operated upon from January 2005 to December 2009, with a minimum follow-up of 2 years. In all patients, a transgluteal approach was employed to explore and reconstruct the nerve.

RESULTS:

Ten males and eight females, with a mean age of 39.7 years, were studied. The etiology of the nerve lesion was previous hip surgery (n = 7), stab wound (n = 4), gunshot wound (n = 3), injection (n = 3), and hip dislocation (n = 1). In 15 (83.3%) cases, a motor deficit was present; in 12 (66.6%) cases neuropathic pain and in 12 (66.6%) cases sensory alterations were present. In all cases, the transgluteal approach was adequate to expose the injury and treat it by neurolysis alone (10 cases), neurolysis and neurorrhaphy (4 cases), and reconstruction with grafts (4 cases; three of these paired with neurolysis). The mean pre- and postoperative grades for the tibial nerve (LSUHSC scale) were 1.6 and 3.6, respectively; meanwhile, for the peroneal division, preoperative grade was 1.2 and postoperative grade was 2.4.

CONCLUSIONS:

The transgluteal approach adequately exposes sciatic nerve injuries of traumatic origin in the buttock and allows for adequate nerve reconstruction without sectioning the gluteus maximus muscle.

KEYWORDS:

Buttock; gluteus maximus; nerve repair; sciatic nerve injury; transgluteal approach

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