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Surg Radiol Anat. 2014 Oct;36(8):821-8. doi: 10.1007/s00276-013-1242-x. Epub 2013 Nov 30.

Branching patterns and localization of the common fibular (peroneal) nerve: an anatomical basis for planning safe surgical approaches.

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University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, 48104, USA.



Given the severity and incidence of injury to the common fibular (peroneal) nerve (CFN), there is a need to further clarify its anatomical location and branching patterns. This project attempts to consolidate current anatomical understanding of this nerve and provide physicians with reproducible measurements regarding the CFN and its branches.


Dissections were performed on 50 specimens (28 cadavers), both fresh and preserved. The CFN was dissected from its emergence from the fibular tunnel to its anterior tibial recurrent nerve (ATRN), superficial fibular nerve (SFN), and deep fibular nerve (DFN) branches. The CFN branching patterns were assessed and all variations were categorized into four types.


Several significant relationships were identified between observable traits and key anatomical characteristics of the CFN. A significant correlation was found between fibular length and distance from the tip of the fibula to the DFN/ATRN branch, as well as between fibular length and distance from the tibial tuberosity to the SFN/DFN and DFN/ATRN branches. An association was identified between length of exposed sub-cutaneous CFN and height. Thickness of the biceps femoris tendon correlated significantly with BMI.


These findings allow physicians to better assess a patient's individual CFN anatomy based on correlations with measureable physical traits and will contribute to anatomic education and successful completion of various surgical, anesthetic, and physical therapy procedures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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