The Posterior Femoral Cutaneous Nerve (n. cutaneus femoralis posterior; small sciatic nerve) is distributed to the skin of the perineum and posterior surface of the thigh and leg.

It arises partly from the dorsal divisions of the first and second, and from the ventral divisions of the second and third sacral nerves, and issues from the pelvis through the greater sciatic foramen below the Piriformis. It then descends beneath the Glutæus maximus with the inferior gluteal artery, and runs down the back of the thigh beneath the fascia lata, and over the long head of the Biceps femoris to the back of the knee; here it pierces the deep fascia and accompanies the small saphenous vein to about the middle of the back of the leg, its terminal twigs communicating with the sural nerve.

Its branches are all cutaneous, and are distributed to the gluteal region, the perineum, and the back of the thigh and leg

  • The gluteal branches (nn. clunium inferiores), three or four in number, turn upward around the lower border of the Glutæus maximus, and supply the skin covering the lower and lateral part of that muscle.
  • The perineal branches (rami perineales) are distributed to the skin at the upper and medial side of the thigh. One long perineal branch, inferior pudendal (long scrotal nerve), curves forward below and in front of the ischial tuberosity, pierces the fascia lata, and runs forward beneath the superficial fascia of the perineum to the skin of the scrotum in the male, and of the labium majus in the female. It communicates with the inferior hemorrhoidal and posterior scrotal nerves.
  • The branches to the back of the thigh and leg consist of numerous filaments derived from both sides of the nerve, and distributed to the skin covering the back and medial side of the thigh, the popliteal fossa, and the upper part of the back of the leg.

This definition incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy (20th U.S. edition of Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body, published in 1918 – from
This definition incorporates text from the wikipedia website - Wikipedia: The free encyclopedia. (2004, July 22). FL: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved August 10, 2004, from


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