Superior lateral genicular artery

Last revised by Dr Joachim Feger on 13 Sep 2021

The superior lateral genicular artery (SLGA) is the lateral counterpart of the superior medial genicular artery and supplies the superolateral structures of the knee and participates in the vascularization of the patella.

  • location: knee
  • origin: popliteal artery
  • branches: anterior and posterior branch
  • supply: superolateral aspect of the knee

The superior lateral genicular artery originates from the popliteal artery approximately 3-7 cm above the joint line of the knee 1 and courses laterally above and posterior to the lateral femoral condyle beneath the distal biceps femoris tendon. It divides into two major branches posterior to the lateral intermuscular septum and gives off cutaneous branches 2.

The superior lateral genicular artery splits into two branches and cutaneous perforating branches 1,2:

  • anterior or superficial branch: courses anteriorly to the superolateral part of the patella
  • posterior or deep branch: courses anteriorly supplying the lateral femoral condyle and the vastus lateralis muscle

It anastomoses with the following arteries 1-4:

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

The superior lateral genicular artery can be injured within the scope of knee surgery such as total knee arthroplasty  4,5.

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