Lower Limb LO7

7. Describe the lymphatic drainage of the lower limb.

The majority of lymph in the lower limbs drains via lymph vessels and nodes that are associated with the superficial veins of the lower limb, in particular the greater & small saphenous veins. The lymph associated with the greater saphenous vein typically drains into the superficial inguinal lymph nodes, which either enters the external iliac lymph nodes or deep inguinal lymph nodes. The lymph associated with the small saphenous vein typically drains into the popliteal lymph nodes.

In terms of directionality of lymph associated with deep veins, it typically proceeds in this manner:

Popliteal lymph nodes → Deep inguinal lymph nodes → External iliac lymph nodes Common iliac lymph nodes → Lumbar lymphatic trunks