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Arcuate artery of the foot

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Arcuate artery (arteria arcuata)

The arcuate artery of the foot is a branch of the dorsalis pedis artery. It courses on the dorsum of the foot, passing laterally over the bases of the metatarsal bones beneath the tendons of the extensor digitorum brevis muscle.

Along its course, it gives off II-IV dorsal metatarsal arteries, which run distally to supply the corresponding toes and the interdigital clefts. They establish a connection with the plantar arch by anastomosing with the perforating branches of the lateral tarsal and lateral plantar arteries.

Key facts about the arcuate artery
Origin Dorsalis pedis artery
Branches Dorsal metatarsal arteries
Supply Toes II, III and IV and interdigital clefts

This article will discuss the anatomy and function of the arcuate artery.

  1. Course
  2. Branches and supply
  3. Sources
+ Show all


The arcuate artery arises from the dorsalis pedis artery adjacent to the medial cuneiform bone. From its origin point, it arches laterally over the dorsum of the foot, running over the bases of the metatarsal bones while covered by the tendons of the extensor digitorum brevis muscle.

It then runs distally, superficial to the dorsal interossei muscles and gives off dorsal metatarsal arteries. These branches anastomose with the lateral tarsal (branch of the dorsalis pedis artery) and lateral plantar (branch of the posterior tibial artery) arteries.

Branches and supply

Along its course, the arcuate artery of the foot gives off II, III and IV dorsal metatarsal arteries. Each of these arteries divide into two dorsal digital branches, which course within the interosseous spaces to supply the adjoining toes in the interdigital clefts.

Proximally, these branches anastomose with the proximal perforating branches from the plantar arch and distally with the distal perforating branches from the plantar metatarsal arteries. Additionally, the IV dorsal metatarsal artery gives off a twig to supply the lateral side of the little toe.

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