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Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus III: Nervous System: Plexuses: Posterior Femoral Cutaneous Nerve

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus III: Nervous System: Plexuses

Posterior Femoral Cutaneous Nerve

Ronald A. Bergman, PhD
Adel K. Afifi, MD, MS
Ryosuke Miyauchi, MD

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed

In cases of separate origin of the peroneal and tibial nerves, the posterior femoral cutaneous nerve arises from the sacral plexus in two parts. The ventral part descends with the tibial (division) below the piriformis and gives rise to the inferior pudendal and medial femoral branches. The dorsal part passes through the piriformis with the common perineal nerve (division), and supplies the guteal and lateral femoral branches.

A perineal branch may pierce the sacroiliac ligament. In some cases, the posterior femoral cutaneous nerve ends behind the knee and may be replaced in the leg by a branch from the sural nerve.


Anson, B.J., Ed. (1966) Morris' Human Anatomy, 12th ed., The Blakiston Division, McGraw-Hill book Company., New York.

Henle, J. (1868) Handbuch der Systematischen Anatomie des Menschen., von Friedrich Vieweg und Sohn., Braunschweig.

Kosinski, C. (1926) La valeur anthropologique des variations dans l'innervation cutanée des membres inférieur. Assoc. Anatomistes Comptes Rendus. 21:291-295.

Nakanishi, T., Kanno, Y. and T. Kaneshige. (1976) Comparative morphological remarks on the origin of the posterior femoral cutaneous nerve. Anat. Anz. 139:8-23.

Schaefer, A.E., Symington, J. and T.H.Bryce., Eds. (1915) Quain's Anatomy, 11th Ed., Longmans, Green, and Company, London.

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