Superior medial genicular artery

Last revised by Joachim Feger on 5 Jan 2022

The superior medial genicular artery (SMGA) is the medial counterpart of the superior lateral genicular artery and participates in the supply of the superomedial structures of the knee and the vascularization of the patella.

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

The superior medial genicular artery is the smallest of the genicular arteries and might be absent in up to 15% of cases 1. It originates from the popliteal artery approximately 4 cm above the medial condyle of the knee 2 and courses medially above and posterior to the medial femoral condyle anterior to the semimembranosus and semitendinosus tendons and beneath the tendon of the adductor magnus. Its size is often inversely related to the descending genicular artery. It usually splits into two major branches one supplying the vastus medialis muscle, the patella and the skin and the other one the femoral condyle in about 70% of the individuals 2.

The superior medial genicular artery splits into two branches and cutaneous perforating branches 2:

  • anterior or superficial branch
  • posterior or deep branch

It anastomoses with the following arteries 1,2:

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

The superior medial genicular artery can be injured within the scope of knee surgery such as total knee arthroplasty or reconstruction of the posterior cruciate ligament 4-6.

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