Human Anatomy & Physiology (9th Edition)

Published by Pearson
ISBN 10: 0321743261
ISBN 13: 978-0-32174-326-8

Chapter 13 - The Peripheral Nervous System and Reflex Activity - Review Questions - Critical Thinking and Clinical Application Questions - Page 523: 5


The hunter who was wounded in the buttocks by buck shot obviously suffered nerve damage including transection of some nerve fibers. The sciatic nerve was most likely injured but the symptoms indicate possible damage to both superior and inferior gluteal nerves.

Work Step by Step

The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the body ; it lies deep to the gluteus maximus . It is really two nerves (common fibular, and tibial nerves) wrapped together. It leaves the pelvis by passing in front of the gluteus maximus. It supplies the hamstring muscles, the tibialis anterior and posterior, the popliteus, the flexor digitorum longus, the flexor hallucis longus, the extensor digitorum longus and brevis, as well as the intrinsic muscles of the foot.. The superior and inferior gluteal nerves innervate the gluteal muscles, and the tensor fasciae latae. Damage to the sciatic nerve and/or gluteal nerves would cause stabbing pains in the hips, thighs, legs,and feet along the courses of the nerves and their branches. Transection of the sciatic nerve would cause the following signs and symptoms; 1, Loss of sensation from knees and back of thighs 2. Inability to flex hamstrings 3. Lower limb paralysis; they would become useless for walking 2. Loss of ability to flex hamstrings 3. Foot drop and plantar flexion failure. This explains the signs and symptoms of the unfortunate hunter who was shot.
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