Reliability of the safe area for the superior gluteal nerve

Eksioglu F., Uslu M., Gudemez E., Atik O., Tekdemir I.

CLINICAL ORTHOPAEDICS AND RELATED RESEARCH, no.412, pp.111-116, 2003 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


The authors investigated the reliability of the safe area, which previously was defined to prevent injury to the superior gluteal nerve during the lateral approach to the hip, and its relation to body height. The distance between the point of entry of the superior gluteal nerve into the gluteus medius muscle and the greater trochanter, in the regions which were defined as the anterior and posterior halves of the muscle, were measured in 23 cadaveric hips. There was a significant correlation between the height of the cadavers and the distance in the anterior and posterior regions. In all of the anterior regions and 78% of the posterior regions of the hips, the superior gluteal nerve as found to be in the safe area. The current study showed that the average distance between the innervation point of the gluteus medius muscle and the greater trochanter might change as a function of body height. The risk of damage to the superior gluteal nerve may be higher if the direct lateral approach to the hip is used. These data show that it is possible that the safe area is not always safe.