77.4: Lymph Nodes of the Inguinal Region and Lower Limb

Popliteal Nodes

Popliteal nodes lie in the popliteal fossa. One lies at the junction of the popliteal vein and the short saphenous vein, the remainder about the popliteal vessels. Afferent vessels arise from the deep tissues of the lower leg and the skin of the lateral lower leg and foot. Efferent vessels drain to deep inguinal nodes.

Inguinal Nodes

There are three groups of superficial nodes and a single deep group.

  • Medial proximal superficial nodes lie below the inguinal ligament. They receive lymph from the perineum and medial anterior abdominal wall. In women, lymph from the uterus may pass to this group along round ligament lymphatics.
  • Lateral proximal superficial nodes drain lymph from the lateral abdominal wall and the gluteal region.
  • Distal superficial nodes lie along the long saphenous vein before it pierces the fascia lata. They drain lymph from the superficial thigh, the medial lower leg and foot.
  • There are three deep inguinal nodes. The lowest lies distal to the junction of the long saphenous and femoral veins. It drains lymph from the deep tissues of the leg. The next lies above this junction; and the most proximal lies beneath the inguinal ligament.