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Laboratory 11. Superficial Anatomy of the Lower Extremity

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The lower extremity consists of the thigh, leg, and foot. The skin will be removed from the entire lower extremity, except the toes and sole of the foot, and the organization of cutaneous nerves and superficial vessels will be identified as they relate to the major regions of the lower extremity.

Most of the cutaneous nerves arise from major nerves, which will be studied in later laboratory dissections. The cutaneous nerves pierce the deep fascia to supply the skin of the lower extremity.

The veins of the lower extremity are organized in two groups: 1) deep veins which lie below the deep fascia and accompany the arteries that supply, the lower extremity and 2) superficial veins which lie in the superficial fascia and are not accompanied by arteries. Veins, called perforating veins, pierce the deep fascia and connect the two systems of veins.