How is saphenous nerve entrapment diagnosed?

Updated: Oct 15, 2019
  • Author: Minoo Hadjari Hollis, MD; Chief Editor: Thomas M DeBerardino, MD  more...
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The diagnosis may be made on the basis of injection of local anesthetic along the course of the nerve and proximal to the proposed site of entrapment. Nerve conduction techniques are available to assess neural conduction in the main branch of the saphenous nerve or in the terminal branches. The routine tests may be disappointing in persons with subcutaneous adipose tissue or swelling.

A side-to-side comparison of the nerve should be made and must demonstrate a lesion consistent with the patient’s complaints. A somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP) test can also be performed and the results compared with those of the contralateral side for diagnosis, though this test may be cumbersome and time-consuming.

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