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Posterior tibial vein

Recommended video: Main veins of the upper and lower limbs [17:10]
Major veins and their tributaries that drain the upper and lower limbs.
Posterior tibial vein (Vena tibialis posterior)

The posterior tibial veins are the paired vessels found in the posterior compartment of the leg. They are the venae comitantes of the posterior tibial artery and are closely related to it during their entire course.

The main function of the posterior tibial veins is to collect the blood from the sole of foot, ankle joint and the muscles of the posterior compartment of the leg. They terminate at the level of the popliteus muscle by uniting with the anterior tibial veins and forming the popliteal vein.

Key facts about the posterior tibial vein
Origin Lateral and medial plantar veins
Tributaries Venae comitantes of the branches of posterior tibial artery
Drains to Popliteal vein
Drainage area Posterior muscles of leg, ankle joint, sole of the foot

This article will discuss the anatomy and function of the posterior tibial veins.

  1. Origin and course
  2. Tributaries and dranage area
  3. Sources
+ Show all

Origin and course

The posterior tibial veins arise behind the lateral malleolus via the coalescence of the lateral and medial plantar veins. They enter the posterior compartment of the leg by passing deep to the flexor retinaculum. 

Through the leg, the posterior tibial veins follow the posterior tibial artery and traverse the quadrangular interval bounded by the transverse intermuscular septum (posteriorly), flexor digitorum longus (medially), flexor hallucis longus (laterally), and tibialis posterior (anteriorly).  The posterior tibial veins end at the distal margin of the popliteus muscle, where they merge with the anterior tibial veins and form the popliteal vein.

Tributaries and dranage area

The posterior tibial veins receive the blood from the veins that accompany the branches of the posterior tibial artery. This way, they drain the muscles of the posterior compartment of the leg. Via their origin (plantar veins), they convey the blood from the deep plantar venous arch, effectively draining the sole of the foot and the ankle joint.

Learn more about the veins of the lower extremity with our articles, video tutorials, quizzes and labeled diagrams.

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