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Great saphenous vein

Other Terms: Greater saphenous vein, Long saphenous vein, Vena saphena magna, Grande veine saphène


The great saphenous vein is the chief subcutaneous vein of the lower extremity. It ascends along the medial and anterior aspects of the thigh to a short distance below the inguinal ligament, where it passes through the cribriform fascia which covers the fossa ovalis in the fascia lata to join the common femoral vein. In its course it receives many tributary veins, some of which are often large, especially one which courses around the medial aspect of the thigh and is frequently as large as the main trunk. Just before its termination the great saphenous vein is joined by the superficial veins accompanying the superficial arteries of the proximal part of the thigh and lower part of the abdomen. The veins on the lateral side of the thigh sometimes join to form a large trunk, so that occasionally two or three large veins are seen converging toward the fossa ovalis. Like nearly all subcutaneous veins, the great saphenous is provided with valves, varying from eight to twenty in number; they are more numerous in the thigh than in the leg, and are situated chiefly at the junctions with the other veins. The great saphenous vein begins at the medial end of the arch. It passes upward in front of the medial malleolus, then medially along the leg, a short distance posterior to the medial border of the tibia and behind the medial condyle, to become an occupant of the thigh.


Vena saphena magna


Grande veine saphène


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