Anatomical study on sciatic nerve variations in Andhra Pradesh, India

K. Lakshmi Kumari, M. Sushma, A. Raja, D. Asha Latha


Background: The sciatic nerve is the largest and widest nerve in the body and is derived from ventral rami of spinal nerves L2 to S3. Sciatic nerve appears in the Gluteal region below Piriformis from Pelvic cavity by passing through Greater Sciatic foramen. In between the Ischial tuberosity and greater trochanter of Femur, it reaches the back of the thigh. At the superior angle of Popliteal fossa, it divides into Tibial and common Peroneal (fibular) nerves. The division varies, and it may occur within the pelvis, Gluteal, upper, mid and lower part of thigh. The anatomical variations of the level at which the Sciatic nerve divides is considered important by Neurosurgeons, Anaesthetists, Orthopaedicians and Surgeons.

Methods: This study was conducted on 52 lower limbs to determine the level of sciatic nerve bifurcation and its variations on 26 embalmed human cadavers. The data was analyzed manually using numbers, frequencies and percentages.

Results: The findings of this study states that in 2 limbs (3.84%) the nerve divided in the gluteal region; in 4 limbs (7.69%) in the pelvic region; in 10 limbs (19.23%) at the junction between upper and middle thigh. The highest incidence of division occurs in 36 limbs (69.23%) at the superior angle of the popliteal fossa.

Conclusions: The findings of this study revealed that the majority of sciatic nerve divisions occur   at the superior angle of popliteal fossa while some divided into other regions such as Pelvis, Gluteal and thigh regions.


Bifurcation, Division, Sciatic nerve, Trifurcation, Variations

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