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Venous Drainage

  1. Veins of lower limb are -
    1. Superficial veins :- (i) Great saphenous vein; (ii) Short saphenous vein; (iii) Dorsal venous arch
    2. Deep veins (from below upward) :- (i) Posterior tibial vein (formed by medial and lateral plantar veins from deep plantar venous arch). (ii) Anterior tibial vein (continuation of venae comitantes of dorsalis pedis artery); (iii) Peroneal vein; (iv) Popliteal vein (formed by joining of tibial and peroneal veins); and (v) Femoral vein (continuation of popliteal vein).
    3. Perforating veins: - These are provided with valves which direct blood from superficial to deep veins. There are two types of perforating veins.
      1. Direct:-Form a direct connection between superficial and deep veins.
      2. Indirect: - Connect superficial to deep veins via the veins which pass through the muscles.


  1. Great (long) saphenous vein
    It is the largest vein of the body. It is formed by the union of medial end of dorsal venous arch with medial marginal vein (dorsal vein of great toe). It ascends anterior to medial malleolus and accompanied by saphenous nerve. Winding round the lower border of saphenous opening, it pierces cribriform fascia to open into femoral vein. The opening lies 4 cm (1.5 inch) lateral and below pubic tubercle. It contains 10-20 valves, which are more numerous in leg. There is one valve just before piercing the cribriform fascia and another at termination.

Tributaries of long saphenous vein are:-


a. In the leg.


b. In the thigh


c. Just before piercing

cribriform fascia

d. Just before termination

i. Anterior leg vein.

ii. Posterior arch vein.

iii. A vein from the calf.

i. Anterior cutaneous vein of thigh.

ii. Accessory saphenous vein.

i. Superficial epigastric.

ii. Superficial circumflex iliac.

iii. Superficial external pudendal.

Deep external pudendal.


  1. Small saphenous vein

  • It is formed by union of the lateral end of the dorsal venous arch with the lateral marginal vein. It enters the back of leg by passing behind the lateral malleolus and is accompanied by sural nerve. It usually has 7-13 valves. It terminates into the popliteal vein. It is connected with peroneal vein through the lateral ankle perforators.
  1. Perforating veins (Perforators)
    These veins connect the superficial with the deep veins. There are 6 main perforators, generally fixed in position.



Connecting veins

Mid-thigh (mid hunter)

Adductor canal

Great saphenous with femoral

Knee perforator

Just below knee

Great saphenous with posterior tibial

Leg (lateral ankle)

At the junction of middle and lower third of leg

Short saphenous with peroneal

Leg (three medial ankle)

a) Upper medial:-Junction of middle and lower third of leg.

b) Lower medial:-Below and behind medial malleolus.

c) Middle:-Between above two.

Posterior arch vein to posterior tibial vein


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