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Anthropometric Study of the Piriformis Muscle and Sciatic Nerve: A Morphological Analysis in a Polish Population

Robert Haładaj, Mariusz Pingot, Michał Polguj, Grzegorz Wysiadecki, Mirosław Topol

Department of Normal and Clinical Anatomy, Interfaculty Chair of Anatomy and Histology, Medical University of Łódź, Łódź, Poland

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:3760-3768

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.894353

Available online:

Published: 2015-12-02


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to determine relationships between piriformis muscle (PM) and sciatic nerve (SN) with reference to sex and anatomical variations.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Deep dissection of the gluteal region was performed on 30 randomized, formalin-fixed human lower limbs of adults of both sexes of the Polish population. Anthropometric measurements were taken and then statistically analyzed.
RESULTS: The conducted research revealed that, apart from the typical structure of the piriformis muscle, the most common variation was division of the piriformis muscle into two heads, with the common peroneal nerve running between them (20%). The group with anatomical variations of the sciatic nerve course displayed greater diversity of morphometric measurement results. There was a statistically significant correlation between the lower limb length and the distance from the sciatic nerve to the greater trochanter in the male specimens. On the other hand, in the female specimens, a statistically significant correlation was observed between the lower limb length and the distance from the sciatic nerve to the ischial tuberosity. The shortest distance from the sciatic nerve to the greater trochanter measured at the level of the inferior edge of the piriformis was 21 mm, while the shortest distance to the ischial tuberosity was 63 mm. Such correlations should be taken into account during invasive medical procedures performed in the gluteal region.
CONCLUSIONS: It is possible to distinguish several anatomical variations of the sciatic nerve course within the deep gluteal region. The statistically significant correlations between some anthropometric measurements were only present within particular groups of male and female limbs.

Keywords: anatomic variation, Adult, Anthropometry - methods, Buttocks - anatomy & histology, Cadaver, Femur - anatomy & histology, Hip Joint - anatomy & histology, Muscle, Skeletal - anatomy & histology, Piriformis Muscle Syndrome - pathology, Poland, Sciatic Nerve - anatomy & histology, Sex Factors



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