The sciatic nerve is the largest branch of the lumbosacral plexus that directly supplies the muscles in the posterior compartment of the thigh as well as all of the compartments of the leg and the foot via its branches. It is derived from the ventral rami of the nerve roots L4, L5, S1, S2 and S3. It travels inferiorly on the pelvic surface of the ischiococcygeus muscle before entering the leg via the greater sciatic foramen below the piriformis muscle. It travels down the posterior compartment of the thigh supplying the hamstring muscles and the ischial part of the abductor magnus before it bifurcates into two branches proximal to the knee: the tibial nerve and the common fibular (peroneal) nerve. These nerves are separate and are only loosely held together within the sciatic nerve.
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