Popliteal vein

Last revised by Assoc Prof Craig Hacking on 08 Dec 2021

The popliteal vein forms from the posterior and anterior tibial veins and ascends through the popliteal fossa to the opening in adductor magnus alongside the popliteal artery where it becomes the femoral vein.

Its relationship to the popliteal artery changes as the vein ascends, but it is always between the popliteal artery and tibial nerve. Distally it is medial to the artery, between the heads of gastrocnemius it is superficial (posterior) to it, and proximal to the knee joint it is posterolateral to the artery.

Its tributaries include:

Related pathology

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: popliteal vein (Gray's illustration)
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