Nerves of the right lower extremity. Front view. (Saphenous labeled at center right.)
|femoral nerve (L3, L4)|
|Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy|
It approaches the femoral artery where this vessel passes beneath the sartorius, and lies in front of the artery, behind the aponeurotic covering of the adductor canal, as far as the opening in the lower part of the Adductor magnus.
Here it diverges from the artery, and emerges from behind the lower edge of the aponeurotic covering of the canal; it descends vertically along the medial side of the knee behind the sartorius, pierces the fascia lata, between the tendons of the Sartorius and Gracilis, and becomes subcutaneous.
The nerve then passes along the tibial side of the leg, accompanied by the great saphenous vein, descends behind the medial border of the tibia, and, at the lower third of the leg, divides into two branches:
- one continues its course along the margin of the tibia, and ends at the ankle.
- the other passes in front of the ankle, and is distributed to the skin on the medial side of the foot, as far as the ball of the great toe, communicating with the medial branch of the superficial peroneal nerve.
The saphenous nerve, about the middle of the thigh, gives off a branch which joins the subsartorial plexus.
Below the knee, the branches of the saphenous nerve (medial crural cutaneous branches) are distributed to the skin of the front and medial side of the leg, communicating with the cutaneous branches of the femoral, or with filaments from the obturator nerve.
Procedures such as saphenous vein cutdown can result in damage to the saphenous nerve, resulting in loss of cutaneous sensation in the medial leg. This is due to the intimate path that the saphenous nerve and the great saphenous vein travel.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saphenous nerve.|
- Saphenous+Nerve at eMedicine Dictionary
- Anatomy photo:12:08-0102 at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center - "Structures of the Adductor Canal"