Small saphenous vein

Dr Henry Knipe et al.

The small saphenous vein (SSV) forms part of the superficial venous drainage of the lower limb.

Gross anatomy

Origin and course

The SSV forms by the confluence of the lateral aspect of the dorsal venous network of the foot (lateral marginal vein of the foot). It passes behind the lateral malleolus and directly superiorly in the subcutaneous tissue of the calf to perforate the deep fascia (fascia lata) and drain into the popliteal vein in the popliteal fossa


Communicates with deep venous system via numerous perforating veins. 


Variant anatomy

  • duplication occurs in ~3.5% of the population 3
  • variable termination (i.e. not into the popliteal vein in the popliteal fossa) 3
Anatomy: Lower limb
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Article information

rID: 28683
System: Vascular
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Short saphenous vein
  • Short saphenous vein (SSV)
  • Small saphenous vein (SSV)

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