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Assessment of feasibility of neuronal reinnervation of pudendal nerve by femoral nerve’s motor branch to vastus lateralis: an ultrasound-guided study

Abstract

Background

Injury to the pudendal nerve leads to bowel/bladder incontinence which compromises the quality of life in these patients. Many peripheral nerves have been used to neurotize the pudendal nerve in order to regain bladder continence. The aim of this study was to assess the anatomic feasibility, by ultrasound, of transfer of the femoral nerve’s motor branch to the vastus lateralis (MNVL) to the pudendal nerve for restoring continence.

Methods

Thirty healthy male volunteers were randomly selected, irrespective of age. The origin of MNVL was traced in the distal thigh, to the level the nerve was visible using high-frequency ultrasound probe. The length of the nerve was measured with the help of a measuring tape. The pudendal nerve was identified just medial to the ischial tuberosity on the same side. The distance between the origin of MNVL and the pudendal nerve was measured. The same procedure was performed in the opposite side.

Results

MNVL has enough length and calibre to neurotize the pudendal nerve in 28/30 (93.33%) individuals on the right side, and in 29/30 (96.66%) individuals on the left side.

Conclusions

On ultrasonography, length of MNVL was found sufficient to reach the pudendal nerve in majority of the patients. USG can be a tool to assess the feasibility of transfer of MNVL to the pudendal nerve.

Level of evidence: Level IV, risk/prognostic study.

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Correspondence to Pawan Agarwal.

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Pawan Agarwal, Geetesh Ratre, Sanjoy Pandey and D. Sharma declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Informed consent was obtained from patients and their parents in cases of minor.

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Agarwal, P., Ratre, G., Pandey, S. et al. Assessment of feasibility of neuronal reinnervation of pudendal nerve by femoral nerve’s motor branch to vastus lateralis: an ultrasound-guided study. Eur J Plast Surg 43, 779–784 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00238-020-01675-3

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Keywords

  • Neuronal reinnervation
  • Pudendal nerve
  • Femoral nerve
  • Motor branch
  • Ultrasound
  • Continence