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Small Saphenous Vein
Cardiovascular System

Small Saphenous Vein

Vena saphena parva

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Quick Facts

Origin: Behind the lateral malleolus.

Course: Ascends in the posterior leg to the knee joint and drains into the popliteal vein.

Tributaries: Perforating veins.

Drainage: Foot, ankle, and posterior leg.

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Related parts of the anatomy


The small saphenous vein is a continuation of the lateral marginal vein and originates behind the lateral malleolus.


The small saphenous vein ascends superficially in the posterior leg. It passes lateral to the calcaneal tendon and ascends in the subcutaneous tissue of the calf. It passes between the two heads of the gastrocnemius muscle to enter the popliteal fossa. It drains into the popliteal vein.


The small saphenous vein receives perforating veins that connects it to the fibular and anterior tibial veins.

Structures Drained

The small saphenous vein drains blood from the lateral foot and calf.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Small Saphenous Vein

ScienceDirect image

The small saphenous vein originates laterally from the dorsal venous arch of the foot and travels subcutaneously behind the lateral malleolus at the ankle.

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