The small saphenous vein (v. saphena parva; external or short saphenous vein) begins behind the lateral malleolus as a continuation of the lateral marginal vein; it first ascends along the lateral margin of the tendocalcaneus, and then crosses it to reach the middle of the back of the leg.

Running directly upward, it perforates the deep fascia in the lower part of the popliteal fossa, and ends in the popliteal vein, between the heads of the Gastrocnemius.

`It communicates with the deep veins on the dorsum of the foot, and receives numerous large tributaries from the back of the leg.

Before it pierces the deep fascia, it gives off a branch which runs upward and forward to join the great saphenous vein.

The small saphenous vein possesses from nine to twelve valves, one of which is always found near its termination in the popliteal vein.

In the lower third of the leg the small saphenous vein is in close relation with the sural nerve, in the upper two-thirds with the medial sural cutaneous nerve.


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