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Clin Anat. 2019 Apr 4. doi: 10.1002/ca.23381. [Epub ahead of print]

Interfascicular septum of the calcaneal tunnel and its relationship with the plantar nerves: A cadaveric study.

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Department of Anatomy, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Anesthesia and Pain Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Department of Occupational Therapy, Semyung University, Jecheon, Republic of Korea.
Surgical Anatomy Education Centre, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


The relationship between the plantar nerves and internal fascial structure of the calcaneal tunnel is clinically important to alleviate pain of the sole. The study aimed to investigate the three-dimensional (3D) anatomy of the calcaneal tunnel and its internal fascial septal structure by using microcomputed tomography (mCT) with a phosphotungstic acid preparation, histologic examination, and ultrasound-guided simulation. Twenty-one fixed cadavers and three fresh-frozen cadavers (13 men and 11 women, mean age 82.1 years at death) were used in this study. The 3D images of the calcaneal tunnel harvested by mCT were analyzed in detail. Modified Masson trichrome staining and serial sectional dissection after ultrasound-guided injection were conducted to verify the 3D anatomy. Within the calcaneal tunnel, the interfascicular septum (IFS) commenced proximal to the malleolar-calcaneal line and distal to the bifurcation of the tibial nerve into the plantar nerves. The medial and lateral plantar nerves were separated by the IFS, which divided the calcaneal tunnel into two compartments. The plantar nerves were ramified into two or three branches within each compartment. The IFS terminated around the talocalcaneonavicular joint, and the plantar nerves traveled into the sole. Clinical manipulation of the plantar nerves should be performed in consideration of the fact that they are clearly separated by the IFS. Clin. Anat., 2019.


anatomy; foot; medial plantar nerve; pain; tibial nerve


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