My watch list  

Sacral plexus

Nerve: Sacral plexus
Plan of sacral and pudendal plexuses.
Relations of the sacral plexus. Dissection of side wall of pelvis showing sacral and pudendal plexuses.
Latin plexus sacralis
Gray's subject #213 957
From L4-L5, S1-S4
Dorlands/Elsevier p_24/12648416

In human anatomy, the sacral plexus is a nerve plexus emerging from the sacral vertebrae (S1-S4), and which provides nerves for the pelvis and lower limbs.



The sacral plexus is formed by::

  • the lumbosacral trunk
  • the anterior division of the first sacral nerve
  • portions of the anterior divisions of the second and third sacral nerves

The nerves forming the sacral plexus converge toward the lower part of the greater sciatic foramen, and unite to form a flattened band, from the anterior and posterior surfaces of which several branches arise.

The band itself is continued as the sciatic nerve, which splits on the back of the thigh into the tibial nerve and common fibular nerve; these two nerves sometimes arise separately from the plexus, and in all cases their independence can be shown by dissection.

Often, the sacral plexus and the lumbar plexus are considered to be one large nerve plexus, the lumbosacral plexus. The lumbosacral trunk connects the two plexuses.


The sacral plexus lies on the back of the pelvis between the piriformis muscle and the pelvic fascia. In front of it are the internal iliac artery, internal iliac vein, the ureter, and the sigmoid colon. The superior gluteal artery and vein run between the lumbosacral trunk and the first sacral nerve, and the inferior gluteal artery and vein between the second and third sacral nerves.

Nerves formed

All the nerves entering the plexus, with the exception of the third sacral, split into ventral and dorsal divisions, and the nerves arising from these are as follows of the table below:

Nerve Segments Muscles Cutaneous
Nerve to quadratus femoris L4-S1 gemellus inferior, quadratus femoris
Superior gluteal nerve L4-S1 gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, tensor fasciae latae
Sciatic nerve L4-S3
* Tibial nerve L4-S3 posterior compartment posterolateral leg and foot - medial sural cutaneous nerve
* Common fibular nerve L4-S3 anterior compartment and lateral compartment anterolateral leg and foot - Lateral sural cutaneous nerve, medial dorsal cutaneous nerve, intermediate dorsal cutaneous nerve
Nerve to obturator internus L5-S2 gemellus superior, obturator internus
Inferior gluteal nerve L5-S2 gluteus maximus
Nerve to piriformis S1-S2 piriformis
Posterior cutaneous nerve of thigh S1-S3 - thigh
Perforating cutaneous nerve S2-S3 - -
Pudendal nerve S2-S4 bulbospongiosus, deep transverse perineal, ischiocavernosus, sphincter urethrae, superficial transverse perineal clitoris, penis
Coccygeal nerve S4-Co1 - perineum

Additional images

See also

This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sacral_plexus". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE