Lower Limb Objectives

Objectives to the Study of the Lower Extremity

These objectives are meant to assist you in learning the anatomy of the lower limb. It is assumed you are familiar with the anatomical components (i.e., bones, muscles, nerves, arteries, veins, etc.).

  1. Define the venous drainage (both superficial and deep).
  2. Recall the cutaneous innervation of the thigh, leg and foot. Compare and contrast a dermatome and the cutaneous innervation of specific nerves.
  3. Describe the relationships of structures found in the femoral triangle.
  4. List all of the components of the lumbar-sacral plexus.
  5. Illustrate that each part the lower limb (gluteus, thigh, leg) has compartments formed by the deep fascia.
  6. Summarize the functions of muscles in each of the compartments. Knowing the functions helps you learn the attachments (origins and insertions) of individual muscles?
  7. Recall which spinal segments contribute to each peripheral nerve (e.g., femoral = L2,3,4).
  8. Describe the innervation of each compartment and the specific deficits that occur with lesions of individual nerves at different parts along the course of each nerve. What actions will test the femoral, obturator, superior gluteal, inferior gluteal, ischiadic, common peroneal nerve functions? Where can the above nerves be checked for sensory loss?
  9. Describe the vascular pattern and major arteries and the major anastomoses around each joint.
  10. Describe the lymphatic drainage in this area?
  11. Compare and contrast intrinsic and extrinsic muscles of the foot.
  12. Define the terms for each of the joints (capsule, collateral ligaments, bursae, etc).
  13. Recognize the most common congenital anomalies.

John A. McNulty, Ph.D.
Last Updated: July 13, 2005
Created: 1 March 1996