UAMS Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences - Arteries of the Lower Limb

Gross Anatomy


Arteries of the Lower Limb - Arranged Alphabetically

Artery Source Branches Supply to Notes
anterior lateral malleolar anterior tibial a. no named branches lateral side of the ankle anterior lateral malleolar a. anastomoses with the posterior lateral malleolar a. and the perforating br. of the fibular a.
anterior medial malleolar anterior tibial a. no named branches medial side of the ankle anterior medial malleolar a. anastomoses with the posterior medial malleolar a.
anterior tibial popliteal a. anterior tibial recurrent a., posterior tibial recurrent a., anterior malleolar a., medial malleolar a., lateral malleolar a., dorsalis pedis a. anterior leg; dorsum of foot and deep foot anterior tibial a. becomes continuous with the dorsalis pedis a.; the name change occurs at the level of the ankle joint
anterior tibial recurrent anterior tibial a. no named branches anterior side of the knee and adjacent muscles anterior tibial recurrent a. anastomoses with the genicular aa. to participate in the formation of the genicular anastomosis
aorta, abdominal the continuation of the descending thoracic aorta inferior phrenic aa. (2), celiac trunk, middle suprarenal aa. (2), lumbar aa. (4 pairs), superior mesenteric a., renal aa. (2), testicular/ovarian aa. (2), inferior mesenteric a., median sacral a., common iliac aa. (2) abdominal wall; gastrointestinal tract; body below the level of the respiratory diaphragm abdominal aorta passes posterior to the diaphragm (aortic hiatus) at the level of the T12 vertebral body
arch, plantar arterial lateral plantar a. plantar metatarsal aa. (4) deep foot; its plantar metatarsal brs. and their brs. supply the toes, including the dorsum of the distal phalangeal segment plantar arterial arch anastomoses with the deep plantar br. of the dorsalis pedis a.
arcuate dorsalis pedis a. dorsal metatarsal aa. (3) dorsum of the foot, excluding the pollex and the distal phalangeal segments of the digits arcuate a. anastomoses with the lateral tarsal a.
circumflex femoral, lateral deep femoral a. ascending br., transverse br., descending br. lateral thigh and hip lateral circumflex femoral a. arises from the femoral a. in ~14% of cases
circumflex femoral, medial deep femoral a. ascending br., descending br. medial thigh and hip medial circumflex femoral a. arises from the femoral a. in ~20% of cases
circumflex fibular anterior tibial unnamed muscular branches proximal portion of lateral leg arises from the tibial a. before the tibial a. pierces the interosseous membrane
circumflex iliac, superficial femoral a. unnamed muscular branches superficial fascia of lower abdomen and thigh superficial circumflex iliac a. crosses the upper thigh parallel to the inguinal ligament
deep external pudendal femoral a. unnamed muscular branches origins of pectineus m., adductor longus m.; scrotum/labium majus deep external pudendal a. may arise from the medial circumflex femoral a.
deep femoral femoral a. medial circumflex femoral a., lateral circumflex femoral a., perforating aa. (3 or 4) hip joint, proximal thigh, posterior thigh deep femoral a. is the primary blood supply to muscles of the posterior compartment of the thigh
deep plantar dorsalis pedis plantar metatarsal aa. (4) deep foot; its plantar metatarsal brs. and their brs. supply the toes, including the dorsum of the distal phalangeal segment anastomoses with lateral plantar a. to form the plantar arterial arch; the branches mentioned at left arise from the plantar arterial arch
descending genicular femoral a. saphenous br., articular brs. skin and superficial structures of the medial aspect of the knee and upper leg descending genicular a. anastomoses with the genicular brs. of the popliteal a.
digital, proper plantar plantar metatarsal a., from the plantar arterial arch no named branches plantar aspect of each digit proper plantar digital aa. supply the dorsum of the distal phalangeal segment and nail bed
dorsal digital, of foot dorsal metatarsal a. no named branches dorsal aspect of 1/2 digit, excluding the distal phalangeal segment dorsal digital aa. do not supply the nail bed
dorsal metatarsal dorsalis pedis (1st), arcuate (2nd-4th) dorsal digital aa. (2) dorsum of digits, excluding the distal phalangeal segment each dorsal metatarsal a. gives off a perforating br. that anastomoses with the plantar arterial arch
dorsalis pedis anterior tibial a. lateral tarsal a., medial tarsal a., arcuate a., 1st dorsal metatarsal a., deep plantar a. dorsal aspect of the foot; dorsalis pedis a. anastomoses with the plantar arterial arch; the anterior tibial artery continues as the dorsalis pedis - the name change occurs at the level of the ankle
external iliac common iliac a. inferior epigastric a., deep circumflex iliac a., femoral a. lower limb external iliac a. is continuous with the femoral a., the name change occurs at the inguinal ligament; the common iliac artery bifurcates anterior to the sacroiliac articulation
external pudendal, deep femoral a. unnamed muscular branches origins of pectineus m., adductor longus m.; scrotum/labium majus deep external pudendal a. may arise from the medial circumflex femoral a.
external pudendal, superficial femoral a. no named branches skin and superficial fascia of the upper medial thigh, skin of the pubic region superficial external pudendal a. is one of three superficial branches of the femoral a. near the inguinal ligament (see also: superficial circumflex iliac a., superficial epigastric a.)
femoral external iliac a. superficial epigastric a., superficial circumflex iliac a., superficial external pudendal a., deep external pudendal a., deep femoral a., descending genicular a., popliteal a. thigh, leg and foot femoral a. is continuous with the popliteal a., the name change occurs at the adductor hiatus
femoral, deep femoral a. medial circumflex femoral a., lateral circumflex femoral a., perforating aa. (3 or 4) hip joint, proximal thigh, posterior thigh deep femoral a. is the primary blood supply to muscles of the posterior compartment of the thigh
femoral, lateral circumflex deep femoral a. ascending br., transverse br., descending br. lateral thigh and hip lateral circumflex femoral a. arises from the femoral a. in ~14% of cases
femoral, medial circumflex deep femoral a. ascending br., descending br. medial thigh and hip medial circumflex femoral a. arises from the femoral a. in ~20% of cases
fibular posterior tibial a. nutrient br., lateral malleolar a., communicating br., perforating br. muscles and fascia of the lateral leg ankle fibular a. anastomoses at the ankle with the anterior and posterior tibial aa.; also known as: peroneal a.
genicular, descending femoral a. saphenous br., articular brs. skin and superficial structures of the medial aspect of the knee and upper leg descending genicular a. anastomoses with the genicular brs. of the popliteal a.
genicular, inferior lateral popliteal a. no named branches lateral aspect of the knee inferior lateral genicular a. anastomoses with the other genicular brs. of the popliteal a., circumflex fibular a. and anterior tibial recurrent a. to form the genicular anastomosis
genicular, inferior medial popliteal a. no named branches medial aspect of the knee inferior medial genicular a. anastomoses with the other genicular brs. of the popliteal a., circumflex fibular a. and anterior tibial recurrent a. to form the genicular anastomosis
genicular, middle popliteal a. no named branches cruciate ligaments and deep structures of the knee middle genicular a. anastomoses with the other genicular brs. of the popliteal a., circumflex fibular a. and anterior tibial recurrent a. to form the genicular anastomosis
genicular, superior lateral popliteal a. no named branches lateral aspect of knee superior lateral genicular a. anastomoses with the other genicular brs. of the popliteal a., circumflex fibular a. and anterior tibial recurrent a. to form the genicular anastomosis
genicular, superior medial popliteal a. no named branches medial aspect of knee superior medial genicular a. anastomoses with the other genicular brs. of the popliteal a., circumflex fibular a. and anterior tibial recurrent a. to form the genicular anastomosis
gluteal, inferior internal iliac a., anterior division unnamed muscular branches gluteus maximus m., hip joint inferior gluteal a. participates in the formation of the cruciate anastomoses of the hip
gluteal, superior internal iliac, posterior division superficial br., deep br. gluteus maximus m., gluteus medius m., gluteus minimus m., hip joint superior gluteal a. participates in the formation of the cruciate anastomoses of the hip
iliac, common abdominal aorta external iliac a., internal iliac a. pelvis, lower limb abdominal aorta bifurcates at the level of the L4 vertebral body to form the right and left common iliac aa.; the common iliac artery bifurcates anterior to the sacroiliac articulation into its terminal brs. (external iliac a. and internal iliac a.)
iliac, external common iliac a. inferior epigastric a., deep circumflex iliac a., femoral a. lower limb external iliac a. is continuous with the femoral a., the name change occurs at the inguinal ligament; the common iliac artery bifurcates anterior to the sacroiliac articulation
iliolumbar internal iliac a., posterior division iliac br., lumbar br. iliacus m., psoas major m., quadratus lumborum m. lumbar br. of the iliolumbar a. sends a small spinal br. into the vertebral canal
inferior epigastric external iliac a. cremasteric a. lower rectus abdominis m., pyramidalis m., lower abdominal wall inferior epigastric m. anastomoses with the superior epigastric m. within the rectus abdominis m.
inferior gluteal internal iliac a., anterior division unnamed muscular branches gluteus maximus m., hip joint inferior gluteal a. participates in the formation of the cruciate anastomoses of the hip
inferior lateral genicular popliteal a. no named branches lateral aspect of the knee inferior lateral genicular a. anastomoses with the other genicular brs. of the popliteal a., circumflex fibular a. and anterior tibial recurrent a. to form the genicular anastomosis
inferior medial genicular popliteal a. no named branches medial aspect of the knee inferior medial genicular a. anastomoses with the other genicular brs. of the popliteal a., circumflex fibular a. and anterior tibial recurrent a. to form the genicular anastomosis
lateral plantar posterior tibial a. proper plantar digital a. to lateral side of 5th digit deep foot; the plantar arterial arch and its brs. supply the toes, including the distal phalangeal segment dorsally lateral plantar a. becomes continuous with the plantar arterial arch
lateral tarsal dorsalis pedis a. no named branches tarsal bones and joints of the lateral foot lateral tarsal a. anastomoses with the arcuate a.
lumbar abdominal aorta anterior br., posterior br., spinal br. psoas major m., psoas minor m., quadratus lumborum m., spinal cord and vertebral column, deep back muscles the 4 lumbar arteries on each side arise from the posterior surface of the aorta at the level of vertebrae L1-L4; they course posterior to the psoas major m.
malleolar, anterior lateral anterior tibial a. no named branches lateral side of the ankle anterior lateral malleolar a. anastomoses with the posterior lateral malleolar a. and the perforating br. of the fibular a.
malleolar, anterior medial anterior tibial a. no named branches medial side of the ankle anterior medial malleolar a. anastomoses with the posterior medial malleolar a.
malleolar, posterior lateral fibular a. calcaneal brs. lateral side of the ankle posterior lateral malleolar a. anastomoses with the anterior lateral malleolar a.
malleolar, posterior medial posterior tibial a. no named branches medial side of the ankle posterior medial malleolar a. anastomoses with the anterior medial malleolar a.
medial plantar posterior tibial a. digital brs. (3) medial side of the sole of the foot medial plantar a. anastomoses with the plantar metatarsal aa., but does not usually participate in formation of the plantar arterial arch
medial tarsal dorsalis pedis a. no named branches tarsal bones and joints of the medial side of the foot medial tarsal aa. are 2-3 in number; they anastomose with the medial malleolar aa.
metatarsal, dorsal dorsalis pedis (1st), arcuate (2nd-4th) dorsal digital aa. (2) dorsum of digits, excluding the distal phalangeal segment each dorsal metatarsal a. gives off a perforating br. that anastomoses with the plantar arterial arch
metatarsal, plantar plantar arterial arch perforating br., plantar digital aa. (2) interosseous mm., deep portions of the foot; digits including the dorsum of the distal phalangeal segment plantar metatarsal aa.anastomose with dorsal metatarsal aa.
middle genicular popliteal a. no named branches cruciate ligaments and deep structures of the knee middle genicular a. anastomoses with the other genicular brs. of the popliteal a., circumflex fibular a. and anterior tibial recurrent a. to form the genicular anastomosis
obturator internal iliac a., anterior division pubic br., acetabular br., anterior br., posterior br. medial thigh and hip anterior and posterior brs. pass on the anterior and posterior sides of the adductor brevis m.; aberrant obturator a. arises from the inferior epigastric a. in 30% of cases
plantar arterial arch lateral plantar a. plantar metatarsal aa. (4) deep foot; its plantar metatarsal brs. and their brs. supply the toes, including the dorsum of the distal phalangeal segment plantar arterial arch anastomoses with the deep plantar br. of the dorsalis pedis a.
plantar metatarsal plantar arterial arch perforating br., plantar digital aa. (2) interosseous mm., deep portions of the foot; digits including the dorsum of the distal phalangeal segment plantar metatarsal aa.anastomose with dorsal metatarsal aa.
plantar, deep dorsalis pedis plantar metatarsal aa. (4) deep foot; its plantar metatarsal brs. and their brs. supply the toes, including the dorsum of the distal phalangeal segment anastomoses with lateral plantar a. to form the plantar arterial arch; the branches mentioned at left arise from the plantar arterial arch
plantar, lateral posterior tibial a. proper plantar digital a. to lateral side of 5th digit deep foot; the plantar arterial arch and its brs. supply the toes, including the distal phalangeal segment dorsally lateral plantar a. becomes continuous with the plantar arterial arch
plantar, medial posterior tibial a. digital brs. (3) medial side of the sole of the foot medial plantar a. anastomoses with the plantar metatarsal aa., but does not usually participate in formation of the plantar arterial arch
popliteal femoral a. anterior tibial a., posterior tibial a., 5 genicular brs. knee, leg and foot the popliteal a. is the continuation of the femoral a., the name change occurs at the adductor hiatus
posterior lateral malleolar fibular a. calcaneal brs. lateral side of the ankle posterior lateral malleolar a. anastomoses with the anterior lateral malleolar a.
posterior medial malleolar posterior tibial a. no named branches medial side of the ankle posterior medial malleolar a. anastomoses with the anterior medial malleolar a.
posterior tibial popliteal a. fibular a. (peroneal), circumflex fibular a., nutrient a. of the tibia, communicating br., posterior medial malleolar brs., medial calcaneal brs., lateral plantar a., medial plantar a. posterior and lateral leg, plantar aspect of the foot posterior tibial a. is the direct continuation of the popliteal a. the name change occurs at the inferior border of the popliteus m. where the popliteal a. bifurcates; the tibial a. bifurcates on the medial side of the foot to give rise to the medial plantar a. and lateral plantar a.
posterior tibial recurrent anterior tibial a. no named branches posterior knee, popliteus m. anastomoses with the other genicular aa. to participate in the formation of the genicular anastomosis
proper plantar digital plantar metatarsal a., from the plantar arterial arch no named branches plantar aspect of each digit proper plantar digital aa. supply the dorsum of the distal phalangeal segment and nail bed
pudendal, deep external femoral a. unnamed muscular branches origins of pectineus m., adductor longus m.; scrotum/labium majus deep external pudendal a. may arise from the medial circumflex femoral a.
pudendal, superficial external femoral a. no named branches skin and superficial fascia of the upper medial thigh, skin of the pubic region superficial external pudendal a. is one of three superficial branches of the femoral a. near the inguinal ligament (see also: superficial circumflex iliac a., superficial epigastric a.)
recurrent, anterior tibial anterior tibial a. no named branches anterior side of the knee and adjacent muscles anterior tibial recurrent a. anastomoses with the genicular aa. to participate in the formation of the genicular anastomosis
recurrent, posterior tibial anterior tibial a. no named branches posterior knee, popliteus m. anastomoses with the other genicular aa. to participate in the formation of the genicular anastomosis
superficial epigastric femoral a. cutaneous brs. superficial fascia and skin of the lower abdominal wall superficial epigastric a. is one of three superficial arteries that arise from the femoral a. (see also: superficial circumflex iliac a. and superficial external pudendal a.)
superficial external pudendal femoral a. no named branches skin and superficial fascia of the upper medial thigh, skin of the pubic region superficial external pudendal a. is one of three superficial branches of the femoral a. near the inguinal ligament (see also: superficial circumflex iliac a., superficial epigastric a.)
superior lateral genicular popliteal a. no named branches lateral aspect of knee superior lateral genicular a. anastomoses with the other genicular brs. of the popliteal a., circumflex fibular a. and anterior tibial recurrent a. to form the genicular anastomosis
superior medial genicular popliteal a. no named branches medial aspect of knee superior medial genicular a. anastomoses with the other genicular brs. of the popliteal a., circumflex fibular a. and anterior tibial recurrent a. to form the genicular anastomosis
sural popliteal a. unnamed muscular aa. gastrocnemius m., soleus m., plantaris m. sural aa. are often confused with the inferior genicular aa. during dissection
tarsal, lateral dorsalis pedis a. no named branches tarsal bones and joints of the lateral foot lateral tarsal a. anastomoses with the arcuate a.
tarsal, medial dorsalis pedis a. no named branches tarsal bones and joints of the medial side of the foot medial tarsal aa. are 2-3 in number; they anastomose with the medial malleolar aa.
tibial recurrent, anterior anterior tibial a. no named branches anterior side of the knee and adjacent muscles anterior tibial recurrent a. anastomoses with the genicular aa. to participate in the formation of the genicular anastomosis
tibial recurrent, posterior anterior tibial a. no named branches posterior knee, popliteus m. anastomoses with the other genicular aa. to participate in the formation of the genicular anastomosis
tibial, anterior popliteal a. anterior tibial recurrent a., posterior tibial recurrent a., anterior malleolar a., medial malleolar a., lateral malleolar a., dorsalis pedis a. anterior leg; dorsum of foot and deep foot anterior tibial a. becomes continuous with the dorsalis pedis a.; the name change occurs at the level of the ankle joint
tibial, posterior popliteal a. fibular a. (peroneal), circumflex fibular a., nutrient a. of the tibia, communicating br., posterior medial malleolar brs., medial calcaneal brs., lateral plantar a., medial plantar a. posterior and lateral leg, plantar aspect of the foot posterior tibial a. is the direct continuation of the popliteal a. the name change occurs at the inferior border of the popliteus m. where the popliteal a. bifurcates; the tibial a. bifurcates on the medial side of the foot to give rise to the medial plantar a. and lateral plantar a.


Some of the material presented in these tables is contained in the book:
MedCharts Anatomy by Thomas R. Gest and Jaye Schlesinger
Published by ILOC, Inc., New York. Copyright 1995.

The content of these tables has been edited for use in this course by Patrick W. Tank, Ph.D.
Copyright 2009, Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Unauthorized use is prohibited.



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