Medial sural cutaneous nerve
Medial sural cutaneous nerve shown in its common anatomic formation
Cartoon version adapted from Steele et al. depicting type 1 sural nerve with contribution of medial sural cutaneous nerve and sural communicating branch
FromTibial nerve
Latinn. cutaneus surae medialis
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The medial sural cutaneous nerve (L4-S3) is a sensory nerve of the leg. It supplies cutaneous innervation the posteromedial leg.[1]


The medial sural cutaneous nerve originates from the posterior aspect of the tibial nerve of the sciatic nerve.[2][3] It descends between the two heads of the gastrocnemius muscle.[2][3] Around the middle of the back of the leg, it pierces the deep fascia to become superficial.[3] It unites with the lateral sural cutaneous nerve to form the sural nerve.[3][1]

Morphometric properties

According to a large cadaveric study in which 208 sural nerves were dissected in their native position (by Steele et al.) the medial sural cutaneous nerve was consistently present in most lower extremities. This information aligns with other research as well. Only one sample in Steele et al. did not contain a medial sural cutaneous nerve.[4] The diameter (at the medial sural cutaneous nerve origin) is found to be 2.74mm ± 0.93 (2.62–2.86) in 207 samples. Two new variations (as of 2021) of the sural nerve complex were observed where the MSCN is observed to travel to the lateral ankle and provides the branches for the lateral calcaneal nerves of the lateral ankle. Normally the sural nerve serves this purpose.[2]

Additional images


Public domain This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 962 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  1. ^ a b Winnicki, Kamil; Ochała-Kłos, Anna; Rutowicz, Bartosz; Pękala, Przemysław A.; Tomaszewski, Krzysztof A. (2020-05-01). "Functional anatomy, histology and biomechanics of the human Achilles tendon — A comprehensive review". Annals of Anatomy - Anatomischer Anzeiger. 229: 151461. doi:10.1016/j.aanat.2020.151461. ISSN 0940-9602. PMID 31978571. S2CID 210890804.
  2. ^ a b c Robert Steele DO MS, et al. (2021). "Anatomy of the sural nerve complex: Unaccounted anatomic variations and morphometric data". Annals of Anatomy. 238 (151742): 151742. doi:10.1016/j.aanat.2021.151742. PMID 33932499.
  3. ^ a b c d Rea, Paul (2015-01-01), Rea, Paul (ed.), "Chapter 3 - Lower Limb Nerve Supply", Essential Clinically Applied Anatomy of the Peripheral Nervous System in the Limbs, Academic Press, pp. 101–177, doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-803062-2.00003-6, ISBN 978-0-12-803062-2, retrieved 2021-03-02
  4. ^ Ramakrishnan, Piravin (November 2015). "Anatomical variations of the formation and course of the sural nerve: A systematic review and meta-analysis". Annals of Anatomy. 202: 36–44. doi:10.1016/j.aanat.2015.08.002. PMID 26342158.

Referenced papers:

Anatomy web references