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Small Saphenous Vein

Contents

Introduction

The small (short) 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

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Anatomy

Drainage

Small saphenous vein - ventral viewThe 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 Small saphenous vein - posterior viewalong 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).

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Show references

References:

  • Frank H.Netter MD: Atlas of Human Anatomy, 5th Edition, Elsevier Saunders.
  • Chummy S.Sinnatamby: Last’s Anatomy Regional and Applied, 12th Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.
  • Richard L. Drake, A. Wayne Vogl, Adam. W.M. Mitchell: Gray’s Anatomy for Students, 2nd Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.
  • J Vasc Surg. 2010 Apr;51(4):982-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2009.08.094. The anatomy of the small saphenous vein: fascial and neural relations, saphenofemoral junction, and valves. Schweighofer G1, Mühlberger D, Brenner E.
  • Knipe H, MD: Small saphenous vein. Radiopaedia.org (accessed 10/03/2016).
  • Wheeless C, MD: Veins of the Lower Extremity. Wheeless' Textbook of Orthopaedics (accessed 10/03/2016).
  • Healthline Medical Team: Lesser saphenous vein. Healthline Media (accessed 10/03/2016).

Author, Review and Layout:

  • Shahab Shahid
  • Jérôme Goffin
  • Catarina Chaves

Illustrators:

  • Small saphenous vein - ventral view - Begoña Rodriguez
  • Small saphenous vein - posterior view - Liene Znotina
© Unless stated otherwise, all content, including illustrations are exclusive property of Kenhub GmbH, and are protected by German and international copyright laws. All rights reserved.

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