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Posterior Femoral Cutaneous Nerve
Nervous System

Posterior Femoral Cutaneous Nerve

Nervus cutaneus posterior femoris

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Quick Facts

Origin: Sacral plexus (S1-S3).

Course: Passes through the greater sciatic foramen underneath the piriformis muscle to enter the pelvic cavity. It descends inferior to the gluteus maximus and fascia latae and superior to the sciatic nerve and long head of biceps femoris. The nerve terminates by piercing the fascia latae in the popliteal fossa to give branches that join with the sural nerve.

Branches: Cutaneous branches to the posterior thigh, gluteal branch (inferior cluneal nerve) to buttocks, and perineal branch to posterior part of scrotum or labium majus.

Supply: Cutaneous innervation to the back of the thigh (including popliteal fossa), inferior half of the buttock, and posterior part of scrotum or labium majus.

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Origin

The posterior femoral cutaneous nerve is a direct sensory branch of the sacral plexus. It arises from the posterior divisions of the anterior rami of first and second sacral (S1-S2) nerves, and from the anterior divisions of the anterior rami of the second and third sacral (S2-S3) nerves.

Course

The posterior femoral cutaneous nerve travels laterally to exit the pelvis through the greater sciatic foramen by passing inferior to the lower border of the piriformis muscle. Within the gluteal region, the nerve is situated deep to gluteus maximus and superficial to the sciatic nerve. It descends superficial to the long head of biceps femoris in the posterior thigh, while staying deep to the fascia latae. The fascia is then pierced by the nerve in the popliteal fossa and terminates by giving off branches of the sural nerve.

Branches

The posterior femoral cutaneous nerve of thigh gives off a cutaneous, gluteal, and perineal branches.

The cutaneous branch supplies the posterior thigh. It travels in a plane between the hamstring muscles and overlies the fascia latae. It courses down in the midline, as it gives off perforating branches. These provide cutaneous innervation to the back of the thigh and skin of the popliteal fossa.

The gluteal branch is derived from the posterior divisions of anterior rami of the first and second sacral nerves. It supplies sensory innervation to the skin over the inferior half of the buttock.

The perineal branch advances medially between the gracilis and overlying fascia latae to supply cutaneous innervation to the posterior part of the scrotum (males) or labium majus (females).

Supplied Structures

The posterior femoral cutaneous nerve provides sensory innervation to the skin of the back of the thigh (including the popliteal fossa), inferior half of the buttock, and posterior part of scrotum (males) or labium majus (females).

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Cutaneous Nerve

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The medial antebrachial cutaneous nerve is a pure sensory nerve that originates from the medial cord of the brachial plexus and innervates the skin of the medial forearm.

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