The blood supply to the sacrotuberous ligament
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Knowledge of the vascular supply associated with the sacrotuberous ligament is incomplete, and at most attributed to a single coccygeal branch. Our aim was to investigate the sacrotuberous ligament vasculature with a focus on its origin and distribution. We dissected 21 hemipelvises (10 male and 11 female). The gluteus maximus was reflected medially, and a special emphasis was placed on the dissection of the vascular and neuronal structures. All specimens exhibited several (1–4) coccygeal arteries branching from the inferior gluteal artery penetrating the sacrotuberous ligament along its length. Seven specimens demonstrated the superior gluteal artery supplying sacral branches to the proximal superior border of the sacrotuberous ligament. Our study highlights several branches from a variety of origins as the supply to sacrotuberous ligament unlike previous reports stating only one vessel. Our results implicate surgical procedures in and around the area of the gluteal region such as decompressive procedures of the pudendal nerve, as it travels between the sacrotuberous and sacrospinous ligaments.
KeywordsSacrotuberous ligament Inferior gluteal artery Superior gluteal artery Pudendal nerve entrapment Pelvic variations
The authors wish to thank Jessica Holland, MS, CMI, Medical Illustrator for the illustrations used in this publication. We also wish to acknowledge the individuals who donated their bodies without whom this project would not have been possible.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest of any kind.
All specimens were handled in accordance to the laws and regulations of the country in which the study was performed. The specimens used for this research are protected under IRB approval number (06014) as issued by the Institutional review board.
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