What is the sural nerve?

Sural nerve location diagram

What is the sural nerve?

The sural nerve is a sensory nerve in the lower leg that lies close to the small saphenous vein, situated in the calf. As the bundle of fibers form a branch of the femoral nerve, it is also known as “short saphenous nerve”. The sural nerve comes off branches of the sciatic nerve, which lies on the back of the thigh.

Sural nerve function

Where is the sural nerve

The sural nerve specifically travels down the posterolateral leg and passes the lateral malleous onto the dorsal aspect of the foot. It runs between the two heads of the gastrocnemius and behind the peroneals. It has a branch that crosses the insertion of the Achilles tendon. In cases of footwear that causes rubbing on the heel or tightness around the heel bone the sural nerve can become inflamed and agitated.

What does the sural nerve do?

It innervates the muscles of lateral and posterior third of leg as well as the lateral aspect of foot and heel. Like all nerves, the function of the sural nerve is to send and receive information to and from the brain.

Sural nerve Function

It predominantly supplies the nervous network to the skin round the rear of the calf and down the side of your foot to your little toe. Its main function is to send sensation information to the brain from the lower leg and outside of your foot.

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