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Medial Plantar Artery
Cardiovascular System

Medial Plantar Artery

Arteria plantaris medialis

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Quick Facts

Origin: Posterior tibial artery.

Course: Travels distally along the medial aspect of the plantar surface of the foot.

Branches: Superficial and deep branches of the medial plantar artery and anastomotic branches to the medial malleolar network.

Supplied Structures: Medial aspect of the sole of the foot and ankle.

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Origin

The medial and lateral plantar arteries are the terminal branches of the posterior tibial artery. The posterior tibial artery bifurcates into the medial and lateral plantar arteries in the region of the sustentaculum tali (Tubbs, Shoja and Loukas, 2016). The medial plantar artery is the smaller of these two vessels.

Course

The medial plantar artery runs distally along the medial aspect of the foot. At first it runs deep to the abductor hallucis muscle. It then lies between the abductor hallucis muscles and the flexor digitorum brevis muscle. Throughout its course, it sits medial to the medial plantar nerve.

Branches

The medial plantar artery divides into superficial and deep branches at the level of the tarsometatarsal junction. The deep branch of the medial plantar artery travels distally with the common plantar digital nerves. The superficial branch of the medial plantar artery continues distally along the medial aspect of the foot to the great toe and forms an anastomosis with the plantar metatarsal artery of the great toe (Netter, 2011).

The medial plantar artery also anastomoses with the medial tarsal arteries, anterior medial malleolar artery, and medial malleolar branches of the posterior tibial artery to form the medial malleolar network (Ballmer et al., 1999).

Supplied Structures

The medial plantar artery supplies the abductor hallucis and the flexor digitorum brevis muscles. It contributes to the supply of the ankle and the medial aspect of the plantar surface of the foot.

References

Ballmer, F. T., Hertel, R., Noetzli, H. P. and Masquelet, A. C. (1999) 'The medial malleolar network: a constant vascular base of the distally based saphenous neurocutaneous island flap', Surg Radiol Anat, 21(5), pp. 297-303.

Netter, F. H. (2011) Atlas of Human Anatomy. Netter Basic Science Series: Saunders/Elsevier.

Tubbs, R. S., Shoja, M. M. and Loukas, M. (2016) Bergman's Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation. Wiley.

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