Peroneal tendons well vascularized: results from a cadaveric study

Peroneal tendon tears are relatively common injuries that seem to have a poor healing tendency. The discussion goes that peroneal tendons have avascular zones, contributing to the poor healing of those tears. The purpose of this study was to provide evidence on the vascularization pattern of the peroneal tendons. Methods: Ten adult fresh-frozen cadavers were obtained from a university-affiliated body donation programme. The femoral artery was injected with natural coloured latex at the level of the knee. Macroscopic and microscopic dissections were performed to visualize the vascularization towards the peroneal tendons. To expose intratendinous vascularity, the tendons were cleared using a modified Spälteholz technique. Results: In all specimens, blood was mainly supplied by the peroneal artery through a posterolateral vincula connecting both tendons. Branches were bifurcated every 3.9 ± 1.8 cm, starting 24 ± 5.3 cm proximal to the tip of the fibula. Eight out of 10 (80 %) specimens had poor vascularized zones in the peroneus longus tendon. No avascular zones were found in the peroneus brevis tendon. Conclusion: The peroneal tendons are well vascularized by the peroneal artery, via vessels running through a common vincula for both tendons. In the peroneus brevis, no avascular zones were found. To keep the tendons well vascularized and therefore improve tendon healing, surgeons should be careful leaving the vincula intact during surgical procedures ​
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