The tibial nerve is a branch of the sciatic nerve. The tibial nerve passes through the popliteal fossa to pass below the arch of soleus.
In the popliteal fossa the nerve gives off branches to gastrocnemius, popliteus, soleus and plantaris muscles, an articular branch to the knee joint, and a cutaneous branch that will become the sural nerve. The sural nerve is joined by fibres from the common fibular nerve and runs down the calf to supply the lateral side of the foot.
Below the soleus muscle the nerve lies close to the tibia and supplies the tibialis posterior, the flexor digitorum longus and the flexor hallucis longus. The nerve passes into the foot running posterior to the medial malleolus. Here it is bound down by the flexor retinaculum in company with the posterior tibial artery.