Ultrasound-guided sciatic nerve block at the midthigh level in a porcine model: A descriptive study

Mi Geum Lee, Sung Uk Choi, Jae Kwan Lim, Mee Ju Lee, Ji Su Hong, Mi Ok Baek, Seung Zhoo Yoon, Hee Yeon Park, Hyeon Ju Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objective: There are a growing number of porcine models being used for orthopaedic experiments for human beings. Therefore, pain management of those research pigs using ultrasound (US)-guided nerve block can be usefully performed. The aim of this study is to determine optimal US approaches for accessing and localizing the sciatic nerve at the midthigh level, a relevant block site for hindlimb surgery in female Yorkshire pigs. Methods: As a first step, we dissected the intubated, blood-washed out pigs (n = 3) and confirmed the anatomical position of the sciatic nerve at midthigh level. After dissection, we found the sciatic nerve, connected with nerve stimulator, and checked the dorsiflexion or plantar flexion of the hindlimb. We matched the sciatic nerve location with the US image. After the pigs were euthanized, the neural structures of the sciatic nerve were confirmed by histological examination with H&E staining. In second step, a main US-guided sciatic nerve block study was done in the intubated, live pigs (n = 8) based on the above study. Results: In lateral position, the effective US-guided nerve block site was about 6 cm from the patella crease level; immediately proximal to the bifurcation of the sciatic nerve into the tibial nerve and common peroneal nerve. The distal femur was selected as the landmark. There were no vessels or other nerves surrounding the sciatic nerve. The needle-tip was positioned less than 1 cm lateral from the distal femur and about 2 cm deep to skin. ‘Donut sign’ in US images was confirmed in all 16 nerves. Conclusions: Midthigh level sciatic nerve is located superficially, which enables nerve block to be easily performed using US. This is the first study to describe midthigh sciatic nerve block in the lateral position under US guidance in a porcine model from a clinical perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-549
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary Medicine and Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Midthigh
  • hindlimb surgery
  • pig
  • sciatic nerve block
  • ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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