Middle genicular artery

Last revised by Dr Joachim Feger on 14 Sep 2021

The middle genicular artery (MGA) is one of the arteries of the knee joint and is a major supplicant of the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments.

  • location: knee
  • origin: popliteal artery
  • supply: cruciate ligaments

The middle genicular artery originates from the anterior aspect of the popliteal artery approximately 3-5 cm above the knee joint line variably having a common origin with one of the other genicular arteries 1-3. It descends along the anterolateral aspect of the popliteal fossa, pierces the posterior knee capsule in the middle of the femoral condyles and is accompanied by two veins 1,2. Within the joint, it travels along the distal part of the posterior cruciate ligament to the anterior cruciate ligament. The length apparently ranges from 3-5 cm with about half of it being extraarticular 1,2.

The middle genicular artery gives small branches to the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments and their lining tissues 1.

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

The intraarticular path of the middle genicular artery was described by Raffaele Scapinelli in 1968 2.

The middle genicular artery can be injured iatrogenically during knee surgery such as cruciate ligament reconstruction, meniscectomy or knee arthroplasty 1,2.

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