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Lower Limb Anatomy – Important Topics

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In this post we have discussed all th important topics of the Lower Limb Anatomy. This topics can help you to perform great in the theory and viva exam.

Meaning/ Definition :

Lower limb consists of Gluteal region, Thigh(Femoral Region), Knee(Knee region), Leg(Leg region), Ankle(Talocrural region) and Foot(Foot region).

What are the important topics :

1. Bones of the Lower Limbs :

  1. Gluteal region – Hip Bone
  2. Thigh – Femur
  3. Leg – Tibia and Fibula
  4. Foot – Tarsals, Metatarsals and Phalanges.

2. Profunda Femoris Artery :

It is the femoral artery’s largest branch and the main source of blood supply to the muscles of all three compartments of the thigh.

Branches :

  1. Muscular branches
  2. Medial circumflex femoral artery
  3. Lateral circumflex artery
  4. Four perforating arteries

3. Dorsalis Artery :

It is the chief artery of the dorsal of the foot.

Origin : In front of the foot, the dorsalis pedis artery is a direct continuation of the anterior tibial artery.

Course :
It travels along the medial side of the dorsum of the foot to the proximal end of the first intermetatarsal space, then descends between the two heads of the first dorsal interosseous muscle to join the sole of the foot, where it anastomoses with the lateral plantar artery.

Branches :

  1. lateral tarsal artery
  2. Medial tarsal artery
  3. Arcuate artery
  4. First dorsal metatarsal artery

4. Superficial Venis :

Great saphenous vein (long saphenous vein)

Small saphenous vein(Short saphenous vein)

5. Long(Great) Saphenous Vein :

This is a superficial vein of the lower limb.

6. Nerves :

  1. Femoral Nerve
  2. Obturator Nerve
  3. Sciatic Nerve
  4. Tibial Nerve
  5. Common peroneal nerve
  6. Deep peroneal nerve

7. Obturator Nerve :

This is the main nerve of the thigh’s adductor compartment.
It is created by the ventral division of the anterior primary rami of the L2, L3, and L4 spinal nerves and emerges from the lumbar plexus in the abdomen.

8. Superficial Peroneal Nerve :

It is the lateral compartment nerve of the leg.

Origin :
At the fibula’s neck, it is one of the two terminal branches of the common peroneal nerve. It starts in the peroneus longus material on the lateral side of the fibula’s neck.

9. Joints :

  1. Knee Joint
  2. Tibiofibular Joints
  3. Intertarsal Joints

10. Hip Joint :

Between the head of the femur and the acetabulum of the hip bone is the hip joint, which is a ball and socket type of synovial joint.

Ligaments :

  • Capsular ligament
  • Iliofemoral ligament
  • Transverse acetabular ligament.
  • Acetabular labrum.
  • Pubofemoral ligament.
  • Ischiofemoral ligament.
  • Ligamentum teres femoris

11. Fascia Compartment of the thigh :

  1. Anterior Compartment : Femoral Nerve || Sartorius muscle, Quadriceps muscle, Articularis genus
  2. Middle Compartment : Obturator Nerve || Pectineus, External obturator, Gracilis muscle, Adductor(longus, breves and minimus)
  3. Posterior Compartment : Sciatic Nerve || Adductor magnus, Biceps femurs, Semitendinosus and Semimembranosus.

12. Deep Fascia of the thigh :

Strong fascia that wraps around the thigh like a sleeve. Since it encloses a large region of the leg, it is also known as Fascia lata.

Attachments :

  1. Superiorly : It is connected to the anterior superior iliac spine, inguinal ligament, and pubic tubercle on the front of the thigh.
  2. Inferiorly : It is connected to subcutaneous bony prominences and the capsule of the knee joint on the front and sides of the knee.

Modifications of this fascia :

  1. Illiotibial Tract
  2. Saphenous opening

13. Femoral Triangle :

The apex is oriented downwards and it is a triangular depression on the front of the upper one-third of the thigh below the inguinal ligament.

Boundaries :

  1. Lateral : Medial border of sartonius
  2. Medial : Medial border of adductor longus
  3. Base : Inguinal ligament
  4. Apex : Meeting point of the medial borders of adductor longs and sartonius-

14. Femoral Sheath :

It’s a funnel-shaped sheath that encases the femoral vessels’ upper 3-4cm.

–> The sheath is divided into 3 parts mainly :

  1. Lateral Compartment : contains femoral artery and the femoral branch of genitofemoral nerve
  2. Intermediate compartment : contains the femoral nerve
  3. Medial Compartment also known as femoral canal

15. Greater Sciatic Foramen :

A opening in the posterior human pelvis.

Contents :

  1. Sciatic nerve
  2. Pudendal nerve
  3. Inferior gluteal artery and vein
  4. Inferior gluteal artery
  5. Posterior femoral cutaneous nerve
  6. Neve to obturator internus
  7. Nerve to quadratus femoris

16. Muscles of the back of the Thigh :

Hamstring Muscles :

  1. Semitendinosus
  2. Semimembranosus
  3. Biceps femoris(Long Head)
  4. Ischial head of adductor magnus

Characteristics :

  • The ischial tuberosity is the source of all of them.
  • All of them are put into one of the leg’s bones.
  • The sciatic nerve’s tibial branch supplies all of them.
  • All of these muscles are knee flexors and hip extensors.

17. Muscles of the Gluteal Region :

  1. Gluteus maximus
  2. Gluteus medius
  3. Gluteus minimus
  4. Tensor fasciae latae
  5. Piriformis
  6. Gemellus superior
  7. Gemellus inferior
  8. Obturator internus
  9. Quadratus femoris

18. Popliteal Fossa :

The back of the knee joint has a diamond-shaped cavity called the popliteal fossa. When the knee is flexed, it becomes more visible.

Boundaries :

  1. Superomedially : Semitendinosus & Semimembranosus
  2. Superolaterally : Biceps femurs
  3. Inferomedially : Medial head of gastrocnemius
  4. Inferolaterally : Plantaris adds to the lateral head of the gastrocnemius.

Contents :

  1. Tibial nerve and its branches
  2. Popliteal artery and vein with branches
  3. Popliteal lymph nodes
  4. Popliteal pad of fat

19. Trendelenburg’s sign :

Both the gluteus medius and minimus, which act from below, prevent the unsupported side of the pelvis from sagging during walking and thus preserve the horizontal level of the pelvis, as long as the hip joint and the femur’s neck-shaft angle are natural.

20. Acetabular Labrum :

Also known as Glenoid labrum, runs around the acetabulum(cup) of the hip joint and further increases its depth.

21. Deep muscles of the back of the leg :

  1. Popliteus
  2. Flexor hallucis longus
  3. Flexor digitorium longus
  4. Tibialis posterior

22. Arches of the foot :

Longitudinal and Transverse arches :

  1. Longitudinal : Medial and Lateral
  2. Transverse : Anterior complete part and Posterior incomplete part


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