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|Nerve: Sciatic nerve|
|Left gluteal region, showing surface markings for arteries and sciatic nerve.|
|Gray's||subject #213 960|
|Innervates||Lateral rotator group (except Piriformis and Quadratus femoris), Posterior compartment of thigh|
|From||lumbar plexus and sacral plexus: L4-S3|
|To||tibial nerve, common fibular nerve|
The Sciatic supplies nearly the whole of the skin of the leg, the muscles of the back of the thigh, and those of the leg and foot.
Anatomical course[edit | edit source]
It descends between the greater trochanter of the femur and the tuberosity of the ischium, and along the back of the thigh to about its lower third, where it divides into two large branches, the tibial and common peroneal nerves. This division may take place at any point between the sacral plexus and the lower third of the thigh. When it occurs at the plexus, the common peroneal nerve usually pierces the Piriformis muscles.
In the upper part of its course, the nerve rests upon the posterior surface of the ischium, the nerve to the Quadratus femoris, the Obturator internus and Gemelli; it is accompanied by the posterior femoral cutaneous nerve and the inferior gluteal artery, and is covered by the Gluteus maximus.
Branches[edit | edit source]
The nerve gives off articular and muscular branches.
- The articular branches (rami articulares) arise from the upper part of the nerve and supply the hip-joint, perforating the posterior part of its capsule; they are sometimes derived from the sacral plexus.
- The muscular branches (rami musculares) are distributed to the following muscles of the lower limb: Biceps femoris, Semitendinosus, Semimembranosus, and Adductor magnus. The nerve to the short head of the Biceps femoris comes from the common peroneal part of the sciatic, while the other muscular branches arise from the tibial portion, as may be seen in those cases where there is a high division of the sciatic nerve.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Sciatic nerves from frogs and rats are often used in physiology experiments on nerve conduction because this nerve is large, and easily dissected and manipulated.
- In the Jewish dietary laws (Kashrut), the hindquarters of a mammal are not kosher unless the sciatic nerve and the fat surrounding it are removed (Genesis 32).
Pathology[edit | edit source]
Pain caused by a compressed or damaged sciatic nerve is called sciatica.
Additional images[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- Duke Orthopedics sciatic_nerve
- MedlinePlus Image 19503
- Norman/Georgetown pelvis (pelvicnerves)
- Norman/Georgetown glutealregion (glutealner)
This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.
lumbar plexus: iliohypogastric - ilioinguinal - genitofemoral (femoral branch/lumboinguinal, genital branch) - lateral cutaneous of thigh (patellar) - obturator (anterior, cutaneous, posterior, accessory) - femoral (anterior cutaneous branches, saphenous)
sacral/coccygeal plexus: to quadratus femoris - to obturator internus - to the piriformis - superior gluteal - inferior gluteal - posterior cutaneous of thigh (inferior cluneal, perineal branches)
sciatic: tibial (medial sural cutaneous, sural, medial calcaneal, medial plantar, lateral plantar) - common fibular (lateral sural cutaneous, deep fibular, superficial fibular, medial dorsal cutaneous, intermediate dorsal cutaneous)
- de:Nervus ischiadicus
- fr:Nerf ischiatique
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