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Iatrogenic common peroneal nerve injury during harvesting of semitendinosus tendon for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction
  1. Raf Mens,
  2. Albert van Houten,
  3. Roy Bernardus Gerardus Brokelman and
  4. Roy Hoogeslag
  1. Orthopedisch Centrum Oost Nederland, Hengelo, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Roy Bernardus Gerardus Brokelman; R.brokelman{at}


We present a case of iatrogenic injury to the common peroneal nerve (CPN) occurring due to harvesting of a hamstring graft, using a posterior mini-incision technique. A twitch of the foot was noted on retraction of the tendon stripper. After clinically diagnosing a CPN palsy proximal to the knee, the patient was referred to a neurosurgeon within 24 hours. An electromyography (EMG) was not obtained since it cannot accurately differentiate between partial and complete nerve injury in the first week after injury. Because the nerve might have been transacted by the tendon stripper, surgical exploration within 72 hours after injury was indicated. An intraneural haematoma was found and neurolysis was performed to decompress the nerve. Functioning of the anterior cruciate ligament was satisfactory during follow-up. Complete return of motor function of the CPN was observed at 1-year follow-up, with some remaining hypoaesthesia.

  • orthopaedics
  • orthopaedic and trauma surgery

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  • Contributors RM collected case data and drafted the manuscript. AvH is the treating physician of the patient in question and read and reviewed the manuscript. RH and RBGB read and reviewed the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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