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Anterior Tibial Artery

Anterior tibial artery is the smaller of the terminal branches of the popliteal artery. It arises at the level of the lower border of the popliteus muscle. It passes forward into the anterior compartment of the leg through the opening in the upper part of interosseous membrane. It descends on the anterior surface of the interosseous membrane, accompanied by the deep peroneal nerve.

In the upper part of its course, it lies superficially in front of the lower end of tibia. After passing behind the superior extensor retinaculum, it has the tendon of extensor hallucis longus on the medial side and the deep peroneal nerve and the tendons of extensor digitorum longus on the lateral side. This is the site where the pulsations can be felt.

In front of the ankle joint, anterior tibial artery becomes the dorsalis pedis artery.

Grey’s Anatomy 20th edition


1. Muscular branches

2. Anastomotic branches which form anastomosis around the knee and ankle joints.

3. Dorsalis Pedis artery

On entering the sole between the two heads of the first dorsal interosseous muscle, it joins the lateral plantar artery. The first plantar metatarsal artery supplies the cleft between the big and second toe.

It is superficial in position and is crossed by the inferior extensor retinaculum and the first tendon of extensor digitorum brevis. On its lateral side lies the terminal part of the deep peroneal nerve and the extensor digitorum longus tendon. On its medial side is the tendon of extensor hallucis longus. This is the site where pulsations can be felt.

1. Lateral tarsal artery:

It crosses the dorsum of the foot below the ankle joint.

2. Arcuate artery:

It runs laterally under the extensor tendons opposite the bases of metatarsal bones. It also gives metatarsal branches to the toes.

Terminal branches:

1. First dorsal metatarsal artery:

It supplies both sides of the big toe.

2. Deep plantar artery

Plantar arteries

Grey’s Anatomy 20th edition

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