Neurovascular structures at risk with percutaneous fixation in tarsometatarsal fusion: A cadaveric study

Academic Article


  • Introduction: First tarsometatarsal (TMT) joint fusion is routinely used for arthritis and deformities. Common fixation methods include a locking plate construct, cross-screws, or combinations of the two. Cross screws have proven effective for union and stability; however, there is a potential for harm to nearby neurovascular structures due to the nature of percutaneous insertion technique. This study assessed risk of damage to the superficial peroneal nerve with percutaneous TMT fusion. Methods: Nine fresh-frozen cadaver specimens were included. A medial incision in the internervous plane was made for TMT joint preparation. Two crossed percutaneous wires followed by 4.0 cc screws were placed in the dorsal aspect of the proximal aspect of first metatarsal and in the medial cuneiform. Both were 10–15 mm from the TMT joint line. The dorsal aspect of the foot was dissected and examined for neurovascular interruptions, particularly branches of the superficial peroneal nerve. Results: Results showed a mean distance of 4.33 mm from the proximal pin to the medial branch of the superficial peroneal nerve. The distal pin had a mean distance of 6.44 mm from the medial branch, with one pin 9 mm from the lateral branch. One incident of direct injury to the neurovascular bundle was observed. Conclusion: Preparing the joint from the medial side using a percutaneous approach is less invasive, but presents a relative risk for neuritis. Care should be taken during insertion of the percutaneous screw after TMT joint preparation for fusion. Level of Evidence: Level V, cadaver study.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lehtonen E; Patel H; Lee S; LaCorda J; McKissack HM; Naranje S; Shah A
  • Start Page

  • 19
  • End Page

  • 23
  • Volume

  • 41