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Main nerves of the lower limb

Learning objectives

After completing this study unit you will be able to:

  1. Name the major nerves of the lower limb.
  2. Identify the region supplied by each nerve.

Watch videos

The lower limb is supplied by the lumbosacral plexus and its two major nerve branches, the femoral nerve and sciatic nerve.

The femoral nerve, the largest branch of the lumbar plexus, is located in the anterior thigh. The sciatic nerve travels down the posterior aspect of the lower limb. It branches from the sacral plexus and is the longest nerve in the body, spanning from the hip to the foot and measuring a whopping 2cm in diameter!

To get a good visual of the course of these nerves though the lower limb, their branches and the regions they supply, watch the video below.

If you want to learn more about the nerves themselves and how they form nerve plexuses such as the sacral and lumbar plexus, watch the two videos below.

Take a quiz

That is a lot of information to learn! Increase your learning retention with a quiz below.

If you would like to challenge yourself even further, try out our fully customizable quiz below on the structure of the lower limb. You can even save your selections and quiz yourself on it later.

Browse atlas

Take a closer look at the nerves of the lower limb in the gallery below.


Key points about the main nerves of the lower limb
Main nerves of the lower limb Obturator nerve, sciatic nerve, femoral nerve, saphenous nerve, tibial nerve, sural nerve, common fibular nerve, medial plantar nerve, lateral plantar nerve
Lower limb region supplied by each nerve Hip: Gluteal nerves, pudendal nerve, sciatic nerve
: Femoral nerve, saphenous nerve
: Tibial nerve, common fibular nerve, superficial fibular nerve, deep fibular nerve
: Lateral plantar nerve, medial plantar nerve, common plantar digital nerves, dorsal digital nerves

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