The sciatic nerve (; also called ischiadic nerve, ischiatic nerve) is a large nerve in humans and other animals. It begins in the lower back and runs through the buttock and down the lower limb. It is the longest and widest single nerve in the human body, going from the top of the leg to the foot on the posterior aspect. The sciatic nerve provides the connection to the nervous system for nearly the whole of the skin of the leg, the muscles of the back of the thigh, and those of the leg and foot. It is derived from spinal nerves L4 through S3. It contains fibres from both the anterior and posterior divisions of the lumbosacral plexus.