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Small saphenous vein: want to learn more about it?

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Small saphenous vein

The small (short or lesser) saphenous vein is a superficial vein of the leg. It drains the lateral surface of the leg, and runs up the posterior surface of the leg to drain into the popliteal vein. In this article we will discuss the anatomy and clinical relevance of the small saphenous vein. 

Anatomy

Drainage

The dorsal venous arch of the foot connects the great saphenous vein, that drains the medial surface of the leg and thigh into the femoral vein at the saphenofemoral junction, to the small saphenous vein, which is a superficial vein.

Course

The small saphenous vein extends from the lateral marginal of the foot posterior to the lateral malleolus. It then ascends along the posterior surface of the leg and passes between the two heads of gastrocnemius. In many individuals, the small saphenous vein drains into the popliteal vein at the saphenopopliteal junction, whose location is variable but proximal to the tibial plateau in most cases. The small saphenous vein usually gives off a branch, the vein of Giacomini, which extends up the thigh and runs between the biceps femoris and semimembranosus muscles.

The small saphenous vein is accompanied by the sural nerve along its course in the posterior aspect of the leg. The sural nerve is a sensory cutaneous nerve that is formed by branches from the common fibular (ventral rami of L4-S2) and tibial (ventral rami of L4-S3) branches of the sciatic nerve (ventral rami of L4-S3).

Small saphenous vein: want to learn more about it?

Our engaging videos, interactive quizzes, in-depth articles and HD atlas are here to get you top results faster.

What do you prefer to learn with?

“I would honestly say that Kenhub cut my study time in half.” – Read more. Kim Bengochea Kim Bengochea, Regis University, Denver

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