Accuracy of palpation to identify the medial branch of the medial dorsal cutaneous nerve in medial column surgery: correlation of preoperative nerve marking with intraoperative findings during lapidus fusion
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The medial branch of the medial dorsal cutaneous nerve is frequently encountered in medial column surgery. Postoperative sensory nerve symptoms can lead to dissatisfaction and suboptimal outcome. The purpose of this case series is to correlate intraoperative nerve location on direct viewing with preoperative nerve localization to assess the accuracy of a specific nerve palpation technique. Hundred consecutive patients undergoing elective Lapidus fusion were prospectively evaluated. Preoperative nerve localization and intraoperative comparison was performed along with assessment of nerve position in relation to the cuneiform and first tarsometatarsal joint. Preoperative nerve identification correlated with intraoperative findings in 99 of 100 consecutive cases. In 1 of 100 cases, the palpated nerve was proximal to the zone of dissection and was not visualized. The medial branch of the medial dorsal cutaneous nerve crossed the dorsal Lapidus incision at the medial cuneiform or first metatarsal base level in 95 of 100 cases; at the mid metatarsal level in 2 of 100 cases; and proximal to the medial cuneiform in 3 of 100 cases.
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