Medial and lateral plantar arteries

The medial and lateral plantar arteries and their branchesAnatomical features of the medial and lateral plantar arteries, their branches together with 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 medial and lateral plantar arteries and their branches, as well as the area of blood supply.

Medial plantar artery

The medial plantar artery (a. plantaris medialis) arises from the posterior tibial artery behind the medial malleolus. Together with the medial plantar nerve and vein, it forms the medial neurovascular bundle of the foot. It passes between the abductor hallucis muscle and the flexor digitorum brevis.

It anastomoses with a branch of the first plantar metatarsal artery

Medial plantar artery (a. plantaris medialis)
Medial plantar artery (a. plantaris medialis)
Medial plantar artery (a. plantaris medialis)
Medial plantar artery (a. plantaris medialis)

It gives off two branches:

The superficial branch (r. superficialis) supplies the skin of the medial part of the sole and the abductor hallucis muscle with blood;

Superficial branch (r. superficialis)
Superficial branch (r. superficialis)

The deep branch (r. profundus) supplies the skin of the medial part of the sole, the abductor hallucis muscle and the flexor digitorum brevis with blood.

Deep branch (r. profundus)
Deep branch (r. profundus)

Ultimately, at the base of the first metatarsal, it is divided into three superficial digital branches, which are anastomosed with the first, second, and third plantar metatarsal arteries.

Lateral plantar artery

The lateral plantar artery (a. plantaris lateralis) also arises behind the medial malleolus. Together with the lateral plantar nerve and vein, it forms the lateral neurovascular bundle of the foot. It passes obliquely and laterally over the quadratus plantae muscle, passing deep to the abductor hallucis muscles, the short flexor of the fingers, and the abductor digiti minimi muscle. Then it circumflexes the lateral edge of the oblique head of the adductor hallucis muscle, passes deep to it, and goes medially.

Lateral plantar artery (a. plantaris lateralis)
Lateral plantar artery (a. plantaris lateralis)
Lateral plantar artery (a. plantaris lateralis)
Lateral plantar artery (a. plantaris lateralis)

Having reached the gap between the bases of the first and second metatarsal bones, it anastomoses with the deep plantar artery and completes the deep plantar arch.

It supplies the skin of the lateral part of the sole, the muscles of the little toe and the middle group, and the joints of the foot with blood.

Deep plantar arch

The deep plantar arch (arcus plantaris profundus) is formed at the level of the base of the metatarsals. Then it follows in the medial direction and ends at the lateral edge of the first metatarsal, anastomosing with a deep plantar artery (a branch of the dorsal artery of the foot) and with a medial plantar artery.

Deep plantar arch (arcus plantaris profundus)
Deep plantar arch (arcus plantaris profundus)

In turn , the arch gives a number of branches:

  • Four plantar metatarsal arteries (aa. metatarsales plantares) arise from the arch.

    Plantar metatarsal arteries (aa. metatarsales plantares)
    Plantar metatarsal arteries (aa. metatarsales plantares)
  • They pass into the common plantar digital arteries (aa. digitales plantares communes), which blood to the toes

    Common plantar digital arteries (aa. digitales plantares communes)
    Common plantar digital arteries (aa. digitales plantares communes)

    with blood and divide into plantar digital arteries proper (aa. digitales plantares propriae).

    Plantar digital arteries proper (aa. digitales plantares propriae)
    Plantar digital arteries proper (aa. digitales plantares propriae)

    The first common plantar digital artery branches into three plantar digital arteries proper: to the two sides of the great toe and to the medial side of the second toe. The second, third and fourth plantar digital arteries proper supply blood to the sides of the second, third, fourth and fifth toes facing each other.

  • Perforating branches (rr. perforantes) arise from the common plantar digital arteries at the level of the heads of the metatarsal bones. These are anastomoses connecting the arteries of the sole and the dorsum of the foot.

Perforating branches (rr. perforantes)
Perforating branches (rr. perforantes)
Dictionary

The medial and lateral plantar arteries and their branches

Medial plantar artery
a. plantaris medialis
Superficial branch
r. superficialis
Deep branch
r. profundus
Lateral plantar artery
a. plantaris lateralis
Deep plantar arch
arcus plantaris profundus
Plantar metatarsal arteries
aa. metatarsales plantares
Common plantar digitalarteries
aa. digitales plantarescommunes
Plantar digital arteriesproper
aa. digitales plantarespropriae
Perforating branches
rr. perforantes
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