Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2021 Dec 2;16(6):1541-1547. doi: 10.26603/001c.29854. eCollection 2021.
BACKGROUND: The tibialis posterior (TP) muscle plays an important role in normal foot function. Safe, efficacious therapeutic approaches addressing this muscle are necessary; however, the location of the muscle in the deep posterior compartment can create challenges.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to assess the accuracy of needle placement in the TP muscle and determine the needle placement in relation to the neurovascular structures located within the deep compartment.
DESIGN: Cross Sectional Study.
METHODS: Needle placement and ultrasound imaging were performed on 20 healthy individuals. A 50 mm or 60 mm needle was inserted between 30 – 50% of the tibial length measured from the medial tibiofemoral joint. The needle was inserted in a medial to lateral direction into the right extremity with the patient in right side lying. Placement of the needle into the TP muscle was verified with ultrasound imaging, and the shortest distance from the needle to the posterior tibial artery and tibial nerve was measured. The depth from the skin to the superficial border of the TP muscle was also measured.
RESULTS: Ultrasonography confirmed the needle filament was inserted into the TP muscle in all 20 individuals and did not penetrate the neurovascular bundle in any individual. The mean distance from the needle to the tibial nerve and posterior tibial artery was 10.0 + 4.7 mm and 10.2 + 4.7 mm respectively. The superficial border of the TP muscle from the skin was at a mean depth of 25.8 + 4.9 mm.
CONCLUSION: This ultrasound imaging needle placement study supports placement of a solid filament needle into the TP muscle with avoidance of the neurovascular structures of the deep posterior compartment when placed from a medial to lateral direction at 30-50% of the tibial length.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 2b.