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The popliteal vein is formed by the junction of the venae comitantes of the anterior and posterior tibial vein at the lower border of the popliteus muscle on the medial side of the popliteal artery. As it ascends through the fossa, it crosses behind the popliteal artery so that it comes to lie on its lateral side. It passes through the adductor hiatus (the opening in the adductor magnus) to become the femoral vein.[1]

Popliteal vein
Blausen 0609 LegVeins.png
Lymph glands of popliteal fossa, with popliteal vein labeled.
Sourceanterior tibial, posterior tibial, small saphenous
Drains tofemoral vein
Arterypopliteal artery
Latinvena poplitea
Anatomical terminology


The tributaries of the popliteal vein are as follows:

  • Veins that correspond to branches given off by the popliteal artery (see popliteal artery).
  • Small saphenous vein, which perforates the deep fascia and passes between the two heads of the gastrocnemius muscle to end in the popliteal vein.
  • anterior tibal vein,
  • posterior tibial vein,
  • peronial vein,

Additional imagesEdit


  1. ^ Moore K.L. and Dalley A.F. (2006), Clinically Oriented Anatomy, 5th Edition, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Toronto, page 636

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