The Line-Up

The Foot

The Shin



Raw Data

Ex. Sources -> Name of Vein -> Terminating Veins

  • Digital Veins -> Plantar Arch -> Plantar Veins, Posterior Tibial Vein
  • Metatarsal Veins -> Dorsal Venous Arch -> Small Saphenous Vein, Great Saphenous Vein, Dorsalis Pedis Vein, Anterior Tibial Vein
  • Dorsalis Pedis Vein -> Great Saphenous Vein-> Femoral Vein
  • Dorsalis Pedis Vein -> Anterior Tibial Vein -> Popliteal Vein
  • Anterior Tibial Vein, Posterior Tibial Vein -> Popliteal Vein -> Femoral Vein
  • Fibular Vein -> Posterior Tibial Vein -> Popliteal Vein
  • Popliteal Vein -> Femoral Vein -> External Iliac Vein
  • Femoral Vein -> External Iliac -> Common Iliac -> Inferior Vena Cava -> Heart

Putting It All Together

The Foot has two major vein structures: the Dorsal Venous Arch at the top, the Plantar Arch laced throughout the foot pad. These two structure communicate with each other through tributaries between the toes. The Small Saphenous Vein goes up the back of the leg, from the Dorsal Venous Arch, joining the Popliteal Vein. The Great Saphenous is fed by the Dorsal Venous Arch by way of the Dorsalis Pedis Vein, and it runs all the way up the leg to dump its blood into the Femoral Vein. The Anterior Tibial isn't nearly as ambitious; it runs halfway up the leg, where it feeds the Popliteal Vein. The Posterior Tibial Vein starts at the Plantar Veins of the Plantar Arch, is fed by the Fibular Vein, and ends up in the Popliteal Vein.

The Popliteal Vein takes the blood of a slew of different veins, but when it leaves the knee, it becomes the Femoral Vein. The Femoral Vein is fed by the Great Saphenous Vein, and then becomes the External Iliac, which becomes the Common Iliac. There are two Common Iliacs, one for each leg, and they merge just above the Pelvis to form the Inferior Vena Cava. The Inferior Vena Cava pumps it back into the Heart.

Why That is an Incomplete Picture

The first question is one of origin. The blood in a vein has to come from somewhere. All of this blood comes from capillary beds that the vein shares with it's arterial döppleganger. Imagine the artery is in prison, and the vein visits them, separated by intricate network of capillaries instead of a glass visitation pane. They exchange blood, and the artery asks when the vein hasn't brought the kids. "I didn't want them to see you like this," the vein says. Ok, so this is where the metaphor breaks down.

The second question is one of structure. If you look at any detailed anatomical illustration of the leg, you will see the veins are spread out like a net. The actual structure of veins in the body is not very neat. Veins communicate, they anastomose, which means they branch out, like the veins of a leaf. This is essential in case of blockage; the blood must have an alternate route to follow, a backup plan. Naming each and every avenue and sidestreet of the network is not necessary or even desirable; we need only focus on the big players.

The last question is one of identity. Some veins are actually Venae Comitants, or accompanying veins. These veins are made up of more than one vessel, all of them traveling the same direction, accompanying the artery that they receive blood from. In these case, they are referred to by one name and treated as if they were one structure.

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