#2 Surgical anatomy of the sural nerve for peripheral nerve reconstruction research in swine
AbstractThe use of peripheral nerves as donor nerves for peripheral nerve regeneration studies, which can provide a long peripheral nerve with intact physiological functions, for autologous nerve grafts was unknown in swine. This study investigated the surgical anatomy of sural nerves (nervus suralis) of cadavers and anesthetized miniature pigs. A loose-S shape incision line was made from the border of the biceps femoris muscle (musculus biceps femoris) to 2 cm above the calx in the leg of anesthetized miniature pigs. The sural nerve was found to branch from the sciatic nerve (nervus ischiadicus) under the biceps femoris muscle and run along the small saphenous vein (vena saphena parva). After being isolated and stimulated using a nerve stimulator, the sural nerve innervated no muscles and tissues in the leg. The sural nerve (14.5 0.5 cm) was obtained from between the sciatic nerve and peripheral branches in anesthetized miniature pigs. Toluidine-blue staining of the obtained sural nerve indicated that the numbers of myelinated fibers in the distal and proximal portions were 2271 639 and 2639 622, respectively. It is concluded that the sural nerve of miniature pigs can be used for peripheral nerve regeneration studies.