High origin of anterior tibial artery

Case contributed by Dr. Mandakini Siwach


Possible medial meniscal tear.

Patient Data

Age: 50 years
Gender: Male

A high origin of anterior tibial artery is noted. The artery is seen coursing anterior to the popliteal muscle belly, lying in close relation to the posterior tibial cortex.

An incidental ganglion cyst is noted in between the proximal tibia and fibula posteriorly, possibly arising from the proximal tibio-fibular joint.

Case Discussion

The popliteal artery usually bifurcates into tibiperoneal trunk and anterior tibial artery at the lower border of popliteus muscle.

A high origin of anterior tibial artery is when the popliteal artery branches  above the superior border of popliteus muscle. The anterior tibial artery can then either course posterior or anterior to the popliteus muscle belly. A course anterior to the popliteus muscle belly is of particular concern in knee surgeries where there is extension of osteotomy to the posterior tibial cortex,  such as  total knee replacements and high tibia osteotomies.  

Knowledge of this anatomical variation is important to avoid injury to these vessels.

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Case information

rID: 53576
Published: 24th May 2017
Last edited: 30th May 2017
System: Vascular
Inclusion in quiz mode: Excluded

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