Tibial nerve

Dr Henry Knipe et al.

The tibial nerve is one of two terminal branches of the sciatic nerve and supplies the leg and foot with motor and sensory supply.

Summary

  • origin: the terminal branch of sciatic, at or above the popliteal fossa
  • course: courses straight down the popliteal fossa, passing deep to gastrocnemius to pass under the flexor retinaculum at the ankle
  • major branches
    • sural nerve
    • medial and lateral plantar nerves
  • motor supply: posterior compartment of the thigh, posterior compartments of the leg (superficial posterior and deep posterior) and the muscles of the sole of the foot
  • sensory supply: articular branches to hip, ankle and foot joints; cutaneous branches to posterior calf and sole of the foot

Gross anatomy

Origin

Fibres arise from the L4 to S3 nerve roots and form one of two parts of the sciatic nerve. It forms its own discrete nerve after the terminal division of the sciatic nerve, usually in the lower-third of the thigh.

Course

Passes straight down through the popliteal fossa, posteriorly to the popliteal vessels, to pass inferiorly between the heads of gastrocnemius and deep the soleus muscle. Emerges to pass inferiorly to the flexor retinaculum in the tarsal tunnel, enclosed in a synovial sheath containing the posterior tibial vessels, where at the level of the medial malleolus it divides into three terminal branches: medial and lateral planter nerves, and the medial calcaneal nerve.

Branches and supply
Lower limb anatomy
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Article information

rID: 24724
Section: Anatomy
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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