Inferior lateral genicular artery

Last revised by Dr Joachim Feger on 05 Jan 2022

The inferior lateral genicular artery (ILGA) is the lateral counterpart of the inferior medial genicular artery and supplies the inferolateral structures of the knee and the patella.

  • location: knee
  • origin: popliteal artery
  • branches: cutaneous perforating branches
  • supply: inferolateral aspect of the knee, patella

The inferior lateral genicular artery originates from the popliteal artery and courses laterally beneath the lateral head of the gastrocnemius muscle, the biceps femoris tendon and the lateral collateral ligament at the level of the lateral meniscus above the fibular head 1,2. It also passes beneath and the anterolateral ligament of the knee into the Hoffa fat pad, where it anastomoses with the inferior medial genicular artery 2.

It provides cutaneous perforating branches supplying the skin.

It anastomoses with the following arteries:

The inferior medial genicular artery participates in the supply of the following structures 1,2:

  • lateral tibial condyle
  • posterolateral ligamentous complex
  • patella and patellar tendon
  • Hoffa fat pad
  • anterior cruciate ligament

Due to its course within the posterolateral ligamentous complex of the knee, the inferior lateral genicular artery is at risk of injury in the setting of a posterolateral corner injury. It is also susceptible to iatrogenic injury during different forms of knee surgery 4,5.

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