Functional indices for sciatic, peroneal, and posterior tibial nerve lesions in the mouse

Michelle M. Inserra, Daniel A. Bloch, David J Terris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

187 Scopus citations


The sciatic functional index previously described in rats has proven to be a reliable index of functional recovery following sciatic nerve injury and repair. A similar functional assay of sciatic, peroneal, and posterior tibial nerve lesions was developed in a mouse model. Forty-eight C57/BL6 mice were randomly divided into 4 groups: sham surgery, sciatic nerve transection, peroneal nerve transection, and posterior tibial nerve transection. Preoperative and postoperative (48 hours) walking tracks were obtained. The pawprints were analyzed in a blinded fashion for measurements of print length (PL), toe spread (TS), intermediate toe spread (IT), and the orthogonal distance from the toe of one paw to the hind pad of the opposite paw (TOF). Multiple linear regression analysis was performed using these measurements to determine their significance and appropriate weighted contribution to the index formula for each nerve lesion. For the sciatic functional index, changes in the PL (P = 0.0092) and TS (P = 0.0008) were significant, resulting in an R2 value of 0.88. For the peroneal functional index, only TS (P < 0.0001) was significant with R2 = 0.83. For the posterior tibial index, only PL (P < 0.0001) was significant with R2 = 0.89. Formulas for a sciatic, peroneal, and posterior tibial functional index were created based on the coefficients derived from the multiple linear regression analysis. The indices that were developed will allow investigators to assess functional recovery following specific nerve lesions in mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-124
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 8 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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