Looking to lead a stronger, healthier life?
Sign up for our Wellness Wire newsletter for all sorts of nutrition, fitness, and wellness wisdom.

Now we’re in this together.
Thanks for subscribing and having us along on your health and wellness journey.

See all Healthline's newsletters »

Popliteal vein

Near the popliteal artery the popliteal vein follows and carries blood from the knee (as well as the thigh and calf muscles) back to the heart.

The junction of the anterior tibial vein and posterior tibial vein, near the knee, defines where the popliteal originates. The popliteal artery, located behind the knee, is where the popliteal vein begins to extend. The popliteal vein drains the peroneal vein before it reaches the knee joint, where it becomes the femoral vein. This change occurs as the popliteal vein leaves the adductor canal, an open space inside the thigh that is also known as Hunter's canal. 

One dangerous complication involving the popliteal vein is aneurysm. This abnormal bulging of the vessel’s walls results in a high risk of pulmonary embolism — a blood clot in the arteries of the lung — and death if left without treatment. Surgery is usually used to treat these aneurysms. Aneurysm in the popliteal vein may or may not cause symptoms, but will be operated on in either case.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
Co-developed by:

In Depth: Popliteal vein

Debugging Tools

Level: 2
Frame: 9
Toggle Hotspot
VP Data Tool
HexTable json from Steve
Steve's ajax layer update call:
[still on original layer]

Ad values:

adModel.dfpAdSite: hn.us.hl.bm.x.x.x
adParams['k1']: othervasculardisease,popliteal_vein,8002154

More on BodyMaps

Take a Video Tour

Learn how to rotate, look inside and explore the human body. Take the tour

BodyMaps Feedback

How do you like BodyMaps? How can we improve it? Tell us what you think