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The injection site in the tarsal tunnel to minimize neurovascular injury for heel pain: an anatomical study

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Abstract

Introduction

The aim of this study was to investigate the location and distribution patterns of neurovascular structures and determine the effective injection point in the tarsal tunnel for heel pain.

Methods

Fifteen adult non-embalmed cadavers with a mean age of 71.5 years were studied. The most inferior point of the medial malleolus of the tibia (MM) and the tuberosity of the calcaneus (TC) were identified before dissection. A line connecting the MM and TC was used as a reference line. The reference point was expressed in absolute distance along the reference line using the MM as the starting point. For measurements using MRI, the depth from the skin was measured to inferior at an interval of 1 cm from the MM.

Results

The posterior tibial artery, lateral plantar nerve, and medial plantar nerve were located from 29.0 to 37.3% of the reference line from the MM. The distribution frequencies of the medial calcaneal nerve on the reference line from the MM were 0%, 8.60%, 37.15%, 37.15%, and 17.10%, respectively. The mean depth of the neurovascular structures was 0.3 cm.

Discussion

This study recommended an effective injection site from 45.0 to 80.0% of the reference line.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the cadaver donors and their families who participated in the donation program. This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2019R1C1C1008845).

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Correspondence to Je-Hun Lee.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Sun, M., Jeon, A., Seo, C.M. et al. The injection site in the tarsal tunnel to minimize neurovascular injury for heel pain: an anatomical study. Surg Radiol Anat (2020) doi:10.1007/s00276-019-02411-8

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Keywords

  • Tarsal tunnel
  • Heel pain
  • Neurovascular structure
  • Anatomical study