Iatrogenic transection of the peroneal and partial transection of the tibial nerve during arthroscopic lateral meniscal debridement and removal of osteochondral fragment

Matthew C. Wendt, Robert J. Spinner, Alexander Y. Shin

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Abstract

Knee arthroscopy is a common orthopedic procedure that is generally considered relatively safe, with overall complication rates reported between 1% and 8%. Approximately 0.01% to 0.06% of these complications involve neurovascular structures. While peroneal nerve and tibial artery complications are well reported, to our knowledge, injury to the tibial nerve has not been reported. We report a case of injury to the tibial and peroneal nerves during routine meniscal debridement and osteochondral fragment removal in a 17-year-old high school athlete. The likely mechanism of injury was violation of the posterolateral corner by powered arthroscopic instrumentation during the attempt at removal of the loose body. The peroneal nerve was repaired with an interpositional sural nerve graft. Management of these injuries should consist of following patients closely with electromyograms and nerve exploration and repair in those cases that do not show interval improvement. Clinicians should exercise extreme care while using powered instruments in the posterolateral corner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-185
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of orthopedics (Belle Mead, N.J.)
Volume43
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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