Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

The Cyclopaedia of Anatomy and Physiology, vol. 4: Pla [corr.: Ple] - Wri
Todd, Robert Bentley
that muscle and the cruræus, and, in company 
with the descending branches of the external 
circumflex artery, enters its inner aspect by 
two or three divisions, having previously given 
off a superficial articular branch. This filament, 
the analogue of the corresponding branch of 
the vastus internus, creeps beneath the su¬ 
perficial muscular fibres, and near the pa¬ 
tella becomes cutaneous, some of the ter¬ 
minal filaments passing behind the outer part 
of the ligamentum patella, others over the 
patella, where they are lost in the skin and 
The saphænus nerve (cracpns, manifest), the 
most internal of the deep-seated branches, 
and arising behind and external to the mid¬ 
dle cutaneous, is the largest branch of the 
crural. It passes downwards and outwards 
towards the femoral artery, and, about two or 
three inches below Poupart’s ligament, en¬ 
ters its sheath. The nerve first lies outside 
and behind the artery ; but a little before the 
vessel enters Hunter’s canal it gets anterior 
to it. During the course of the artery down¬ 
wards and outwards, to enter the ham, the 
nerve inclines forwards and inwards, and quits 
the canal, in company with the anastomotic ar¬ 
tery, a little above the level at which the fe¬ 
moral vein and artery pass out. It now follows 
the course of the sartorius lying behind it, to 
the inner condyle, and one or two inches above 
the head of the tibia is placed between that 
muscle and the gracilis, and gives ofl^ before 
continuing its course, the cutaneous tibial or re¬ 
flected branch. This nerve first runs parallel 
lor a short distance with the tendons of the 
two muscles, then sweeps downwards, for¬ 
wards, and slightly upwards over the fascia 
covering them and their tendinous expansions, 
and across the spine of the tibia to the skin 
at the upper and outer part of the leg, about 
two or three inches below the head of the 
tibia, communicating above with the internal 
The continuation of the nerve, or what 
may be termed the posterior trunk, inclines 
slightly backwards from between the tendon 
of the sartorius and gracilis, and on a level 
with the knee-joint is a little to the inner 
and back part of the tendon of the latter. 
Having received its connection with the cu¬ 
taneous branch of the obturator, it passes in 
company with the saphæna vein into the re¬ 
gion of the leg, inclining slightly forwards to 
the back part of the inner border of the tibia. 
Having supplied the integuments at the upper, 
inner, and anterior part of the leg, it inclines 
slightly backwards about its middle, sends 
filaments to communicate with the continu¬ 
ation of the cutaneous branch of the obturator 
at the posterior part of the leg. It then again 
inclines forwards, and terminates about three 
or four inches above the ankle in two 
branches. The anterior terminal, the smaller 
of the two, supplies the skin at the lower 
sixth of the inner and front part of the 
leg, and over the front of the ankle joint, 
a few of the branches entering the articu¬ 
lation. The posterior terminal, apparently the 
continuation of the trunk, supply the inte¬ 
guments over the inner malleolus, upper, inner, 
and back part of the foot. 
The saphænus nerve not unfrequentlyr, in its 
course in the thigh, in company with the fe¬ 
mora! artery, gives off, at a variable height, 
usually however at the lower fourth of the 
leg, a small branch corresponding more or less 
with the distribution of the outer division of 
the accessory saphænus. The internal sa¬ 
phænus nerve first iies behind the correspond¬ 
ing vein ; then in front of it to the middle third 
of the leg, when it again is placed behind it : 
an inch or two before it divides into its ter¬ 
minal branches, it is again anterior to it, the 
latter passing over in front, and the other 
The obturator nerve, derived from the third 
and fourth, and sometimes also from their 
internal intercommunicating branch, is much 
smaller than the anterior crural, and rounded. 
It perforates the inner border of the psoas, 
along which it is conducted to the pelvis, 
a little below the level of which it runs to 
between the external and internal iliac ves¬ 
sels. It then passes obliquely behind the ex¬ 
ternal iliac vein, crossing it at a very acute 
angle, and reaches the obturator foramen in 
company with, and above, the obturator artery. 
It passes through this foramen into the 
thigh, and terminates by dividing into super¬ 
ficial and deep divergent muscular branches, 
situated behind the pectinæus and adductor 
longus. Soon after its origin a small nerve, 
the accessory obturator, is occasionally ob¬ 
served to proceed from the outer part of the 
trunk. It passes in company with the femo¬ 
ral vein, anterior and internal to it, beneath 
the femoral arch, over the horizontal ramus 
cf the pubis, and external to the pectinæus. 
It is then directed a little inwards, and divides 
into several branches, some of which enter 
the joint through the anterior part of the cap¬ 
sular ligament ; others supply the posterior 
surface of the pectinæus, and the remainder, 
as the continuation of the nerve, terminate by 
communicating either with the upper part of 
the trunk of the obdurator itself, or with the 
branch of the nerve destined for the adductor 
The obturator nerve, in passing through the 
subpubic canal, gives off two or three branches 
to the obturator externus muscle : one pene¬ 
trating its upper edge, the others its anterior 
surface. Some articular filaments are also 
sent off in this direction, and accompany 
some of the branches of the inferior division 
of the obturator artery, beneath the trans¬ 
verse ligament to the hip-joint. The relation 
of these filaments as to size and numbers, how¬ 
ever, is not constant, being in the inverse pro¬ 
portion to the size and number of branches 
given off from the accessory obturator, which 
is not unfrequently absent. 
From the superficial branch is given off a 
long filament internally to the gracilis muscle, 
which runs for about two inches along the 
outer surface of the muscle before entering it, 
another to the posterior surface of the pec-


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