Sciatic Nerve

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sciatic nerve

[sī′ad·ik ′nərv]
Either of a pair of long nerves that originate in the lower spinal cord and send fibers to the upper thigh muscles and the joints, skin, and muscles of the leg.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sciatic Nerve


the largest nerve trunk in vertebrate animals and man. It is formed from projections of spinal-cord motor neurons and sensory cells of the spinal ganglia; in man, it is formed from the fourth and fifth pairs of the lumbar nerves and the first to third pairs of the sacral nerves. It emerges through the foramen infrapiriforme as a long branch of the sacral plexus.

The sciatic nerve consists of two nerves, the tibial nerve (pre-axial component) and the common peroneal nerve (postaxial component), enclosed in a common connective-tissue membrane. Branches emerging from the sciatic nerve in the femur extend from the musculus gluteus maximus to the popliteal fossa, reaching the posterior muscles and the knee joint; the tibial and common peroneal nerves are separated here as well. The tibial nerve innervates the posterior muscles of the leg and the muscles of the sole; it gives off the medial cutaneous nerve in the leg and innervates the skin of the sole. The common peroneal nerve bifurcates into the deep and superficial peroneal nerves which terminate in the anterior and lateral muscles of the leg, the muscles of the back of the foot, and the skin of the lateral surface of the leg and of the back of the foot.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.