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Small saphenous

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Title: Small saphenous  
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Subject: Human leg
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Small saphenous

Vein: Small saphenous vein
Small saphenous vein and its tributaries. (Small saphenous vein labeled vertically at center.)
Latin vena saphena parva
Gray's subject #173 670
Source dorsal venous arch of the foot
Drains to popliteal vein

The small saphenous vein (also short saphenous vein), is a relatively large superficial vein of the posterior leg.


The origin of the small saphenous vein, (SSV) is where the dorsal vein from the fifth digit (smallest toe) merges with the dorsal venous arch of the foot, which attaches to the great saphenous vein (GSV). It is a superficial vein being subcutaneous, (just under the skin).

From its origin, it courses around the lateral aspect of the foot (inferior and posterior to the lateral malleolus) and runs along the posterior aspect of the leg (with the sural nerve), where it passes between the heads of the gastrocnemius muscle. This vein presents a number of different draining points:

Usually it drains into the popliteal vein, at or above the level of the knee joint.

Sometimes the SSV joins the common gastrocnemius vein before draining in the popliteal vein.

Sometimes it doesn't make contact with the popliteal vein but goes up to drain in the GSV at a variable level.

Instead of draining in the popliteal vein it can merge with the Giacomini vein and drain in the GSV at the superior 1/3 of the thigh.[1]

See also

Additional images

External links

  • - "The Arteries of the Lower Extremity"
  • - Stedman's medical dictionary
  • Illustration at
  • 278


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