Relationship of inferior gluteal nerves and vessels: Target for application of stimulation devices for the prevention of pressure ulcers in spinal cord injury

Anthony F. Skalak, Michael F. McGee, Gary Wu, Kath Bogie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

A study was carried out to determine whether the location of the inferior gluteal nerve could be reliably predicted using external anatomy or vascular imaging. This study was motivated by our group's development of an electrical stimulation system to provide direct gluteal stimulation in paralyzed individuals, in particular those with spinal cord injury (SCI). Pressure ulcers are a common complication for many individuals with reduced mobility. Numerous approaches have been employed to treat and prevent pressure ulcers; however no procedure or nursing care regimen has been successful in eradicating them completely. Our group seeks to prevent skin breakdown in susceptible patients by direct electrical stimulation of the paralyzed gluteal muscle, leading to improved circulation and increased muscle mass (hypertrophy) in the treated area. Currently, percutaneous electrodes are placed through an extensive probing process to select the motor point of the target muscle. We examined 15 cadaver gluteal regions to identify the relationship between the internal anatomy of the inferior gluteal artery and nerve as well as the relationship to external anatomic landmarks. The cadavers displayed variability with regard to the morphology of the branches of both nerve and artery. Furthermore, there did not appear to be any relationship between the relative positions of the nerve and artery. However, the potential target area of the proximal origin of the inferior gluteal nerve could reliably be predicted from the external bony anatomy of the lower pelvis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-45
Number of pages5
JournalSurgical and Radiologic Anatomy
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2008

Keywords

  • Anatomy
  • Inferior gluteal nerve
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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