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Plantar Arch (Right)
Cardiovascular System

Plantar Arch (Right)

Arcus plantaris

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Quick Facts

Origin: Formed by the anastomosis between the lateral plantar and deep plantar arteries.

Course: Arches over the metatarsal bones, deep to the lumbrical muscles.

Branches: Plantar metatarsal arteries and perforating branches.

Supplied Structures: Plantar aspect of the sole of the foot.

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The plantar arch originates from the lateral plantar artery at the base of the fifth metatarsal artery. In some rare instances, the lateral plantar artery forms an anastomosis with the medial plantar artery, deep to the plantar aponeurosis and superficial to the flexor digitorum brevis muscle. This is referred to as the superficial plantar arch. In this instance, the plantar arch is called the deep plantar arch (Dorland, 2011).


From its origin, the plantar arch courses from the base of the fifth metatarsal to the space between the first and second metatarsals, the first intermetatarsal space. Here it joins the deep plantar artery. The plantar arch lies deep to the lumbricals, the tendons of the flexor digitorum longus muscles, and the oblique head of the adductor hallucis muscle.


The plantar arch gives off three to four perforating branches, which anastomose with the dorsal metatarsal arteries. Secondly, four plantar metatarsal arteries arise from the plantar arch. These run distally along the lateral four metatarsals and form the plantar digital arteries.

Supplied Structures

The plantar arch gives muscular and cutaneous supply to the sole of the foot and toes.


Dorland, W. (2011) Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd edn. Philadelphia, USA: Elsevier Saunders.

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ScienceDirect image

When the artery is occluded blood is forced through the collateral vessels, drastically increasing fluid shear stress and triggering an inflammatory response which drives vessel remodeling.

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