Dorsal artery of the foot

The dorsal artery of the foot and its branchesAnatomical features of the dorsal artery of the foot, its branches, blood supply areas and anastomoses
~ 4 min

The arteries of the lower limbs serve as blood conduits to the tissues of the lower limbs. They are larger relative to the arteries of the upper limbs.

In this video, we will consider the anatomy of the dorsal artery of the foot and its branches, as well as its areas of blood supply.

Dorsal artery of the foot

The dorsal artery of the foot (a. dorsalis pedis) is a direct continuation of the anterior tibial artery at the dorsum of the foot. It goes anteriorly from the level of the ankle joint to the first intermetatarsal space, where it divides into its terminal branches.

Dorsal artery of the foot (a. dorsalis pedis)
Dorsal artery of the foot (a. dorsalis pedis)
Dorsal artery of the foot (a. dorsalis pedis)
Dorsal artery of the foot (a. dorsalis pedis)

On the foot, it passes between the tendons of the extensor hallucis longus and the extensor digitorum longus in its own fibrous canal. It is easily palpable under the skin.

It supplies the bones, joints of the foot, skin of the back, medial and lateral borders of the foot, muscles of the dorsum of the foot, toes, and interosseous muscles with blood. It also participates in the formation of the dorsal arterial arch of the foot.

It has 5 branches:

  1. Arcuate artery (a. arcuata)

    Arcuate artery (a. arcuata)
    Arcuate artery (a. arcuata)
    Arcuate artery (a. arcuata)
    Arcuate artery (a. arcuata)
  2. Lateral tarsal artery (aa. tarsalis lateralis)

    Lateral tarsal artery (aa. tarsalis lateralis)
    Lateral tarsal artery (aa. tarsalis lateralis)
    Lateral tarsal artery (aa. tarsalis lateralis)
    Lateral tarsal artery (aa. tarsalis lateralis)
  3. Medial tarsal arteries (a. tarsalis medialis)

    Medial tarsal arteries (a. tarsalis medialis)
    Medial tarsal arteries (a. tarsalis medialis)
    Medial tarsal arteries (a. tarsalis medialis)
    Medial tarsal arteries (a. tarsalis medialis)
  4. Deep plantar artery (a. plantaris profunda)

    Deep plantar artery (a. plantaris profunda)
    Deep plantar artery (a. plantaris profunda)
    Deep plantar artery (a. plantaris profunda)
    Deep plantar artery (a. plantaris profunda)
  5. First posterior metatarsal artery (a. metatarsalis prima)

First posterior metatarsal artery (a. metatarsalis dorsalis prima)
First posterior metatarsal artery (a. metatarsalis dorsalis prima)

The arcuate artery (a. arcuata) arises at the level of the medial sphenoid bone and goes laterally at the level of the base of the metatarsal bones.

Arcuate artery (a. arcuata)
Arcuate artery (a. arcuata)
Arcuate artery (a. arcuata)
Arcuate artery (a. arcuata)

It gives rise to the dorsal metatarsal arteries two to five, which go to the toes.

The artery anastomoses with the lateral metatarsal artery.

The lateral tarsal artery (aa. tarsalis lateralis) goes to the lateral side of the dorsum of the foot. It arises at the level of the head of the talus bone, goes anteriorly and laterally, gives off lateral branches and connects with its end to the arcuate artery.

Lateral tarsal artery (aa. tarsalis lateralis)
Lateral tarsal artery (aa. tarsalis lateralis)
Lateral tarsal artery (aa. tarsalis lateralis)
Lateral tarsal artery (aa. tarsalis lateralis)

The medial tarsal artery (a. tarsalis medialis) passes to the medial side of the dorsum of the foot. It anastomoses with branches of the medial plantar artery.

Medial tarsal artery (a. tarsalis medialis)
Medial tarsal artery (a. tarsalis medialis)
Medial tarsal artery (a. tarsalis medialis)
Medial tarsal artery (a. tarsalis medialis)

The dorsal metatarsal arteries (aa. metatarsales) go into the corresponding interosseous metatarsal spaces and are divided (each) into two dorsal digital arteries. The first dorsal metatarsal artery departs directly from the dorsal artery of the foot, where it soon divides into three dorsal digital arteries (aa. digitales dorsales), passing to the great toe bilaterally and to the medial side of the second toe. The second, third and fourth dorsal metatarsal arteries depart from the arcuate artery, each divided into two dorsal digital arteries going to the adjacent toes.

Dorsal metatarsal arteries (aa. metatarsales)
Dorsal metatarsal arteries (aa. metatarsales)
Dorsal metatarsal arteries (aa. metatarsales)
Dorsal metatarsal arteries (aa. metatarsales)
Dorsal digital arteries (aa. digitales dorsales)
Dorsal digital arteries (aa. digitales dorsales)
Dorsal digital arteries (aa. digitales dorsales)
Dorsal digital arteries (aa. digitales dorsales)

The deep plantar artery (a. plantaris profunda) separates from the dorsal artery of the foot, passes through the first intermetatarsal space to the sole, pierces the first dorsal interosseous muscle and anastomoses with the plantar arch.

Deep plantar artery (a. plantaris profunda)
Deep plantar artery (a. plantaris profunda)
Deep plantar artery (a. plantaris profunda)
Deep plantar artery (a. plantaris profunda)
Dictionary

The dorsal artery of the foot and its branches

Dorsal artery of the foot
a. dorsalis pedis
Arcuate artery
a. arcuata
Lateral and medialtarsal arteries
aa. tarsales lateralis et mediales
Dorsal metatarsal arteries
aa. metatarsales
Dorsal digital arteries
aa. digitales dorsales
Deep plantar artery
a. plantaris profunda
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