Nerves Of The Lower Limb – Overview

This article is comprised of a  summary of the important lower limb nerves, which includes….

  • Femoral nerve
  • Obturator nerve
  • Sciatic nerve
  • Common peroneal / Common fibular nerve
  • Deep peroneal / Deep fibular nerve
  • Superficial peroneal / Superficial fibular nerve


Femoral nerve

  • Nerve roots
    • L2, L3, L4
  • Branches 
    • Anterior division
      • Medial cutaneous branch 
      • Intermediate cutaneous branch
    • Posterior division 
      • Saphenous branch
  • Motor supply
  • Cutaneous supply
    • Anterior cutaneous branches – Anteromedial aspect of the thigh 
    • Saphenous branch -Medial side of the leg
 



 


Sciatic Nerve

  • Nerve roots
    • L4, L5, S1, S2, S3
  • Branches 
    • Articular branches 
      • Supplies the hip
    • Muscular branches 
      • Supplies the muscles
  • Motor supply
  • Cutaneous supply
    • Supply to the leg and foot
    • Cutaneous supply is by the branches of the tibial and common peroneal nerve which are discussed later in this article


In the lower third of posterior thigh, sciatic nerve is divided into common peroneal nerve and tibial nerve




Obturator Nerve

  • Nerve roots
    • L2, L3, L4
  • Branches 
    • Anterior division 
    • Posterior division 
    • Articular twigs to hip joint and knee joint
  • Motor supply
    • Muscles of the medial compartment of thigh
      • Anterior division 
        • Adductor brevis 
        • Adductor longus 
        • Gracilis 
      • Posterior division
        • Obturator externus
        • Adductor magnus 
      • * Pectineus 
        • Not always innervation
        • Supplied by the anterior division as accessory obturator nerve
  • Cutaneous supply
    • Not always present 
    • Cutaneous branches of anterior division – Medial aspect of the thigh
 





Tibial Nerve


It is a branch of sciatic nerve

  • Nerve roots
    • L4, L5, S1, S2, S3
  • Branches 
    • Medial planter nerve
    • Lateral planter nerve 
    • Lateral calcaneal branch
    • Medical calcaneal branch
  • Motor supply
    • In the leg
      • Muscles of the posterior compartment of the leg
        • Deep compartment 
          • Tibialis posterior 
          • Flexor digitorum longus 
          • Flexor hallucis longus 
          • Popliteus
        • Superficial compartment 
          • Gastrocnemius 
          • Soleus 
          • Plantaris
    • In the foot
      • Medial branch
        • Abductor hallucis 
        • Flexor digitorum brevis 
        • Flexor hallucis brevis (medial head) 
        • First lumbrical
      • Lateral branch 
        • Adductor hallucis
        • Flexor hallucis brevis (lateral head) 
        • Abductor digiti minimi 
        • Flexor digiti minimi 
        • Lumbricals (2nd, 3rd, 4th) 
        • Interossei (All)
  • Cutaneous supply
    • Medial calcaneal branches – Skin over the heel
    • Medial plantar nerve – Planter surface of medial 3.5 toes and the medial side of the sole
    • Lateral plantar nerve – Plantar surface of the lateral 1.5 toes and lateral side of the sole* Figure is at the end of the article 
 

 


Common Peroneal Nerve


It is a branch of sciatic nerve

  • Nerve roots
    • L4, L5, S1, S2
  • Branches 
    • Superficial peroneal nerve
    • Deep peroneal nerve
    • Sural communicating nerve – Combines with a branch of the tibial nerve to form the sural nerve
    • Lateral sural cutaneous nerve
  • Motor supply
  • Cutaneous supply
    • Sural nerve – Lower posterolateral leg
    • Lateral sural cutaneous nerve – Upper lateral leg
    • Superficial peroneal nerve – Anterolateral leg and dorsum of foot, except the area supplied by deep peroneal nerve
    • Deep peroneal nerve – Some area between the first and second toe 
 
 
 
 



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