Fibular (peroneal) artery
The fibular artery, also known as the peroneal artery, is a branch of the posterior tibial artery that supplies the posterior and lateral compartments of the leg. It arises distal to the popliteus muscle and descends along the medial side of the fibula, usually within the flexor hallucis longus muscle.
Along its course, it gives off 5 sets of branches; muscular and perforating branches, the nutrient artery of fibula and a communicating branch to the posterior tibial artery. Upon reaching the inferior tibiofibular syndesmosis, it divides into its terminal calcaneal branches.
|Origin||Posterior tibial artery|
|Branches||Muscular, perforating, communicating, nutrient, calcaneal branches|
|Supply||Posterior and lateral compartment of the leg|
This article will discuss the anatomy and function of the fibular artery.
The fibular artery arises from the posterior tibial artery usually about 2.5 cm below the popliteus muscle, but it may occasionally arise up to 8 cm distal to the popliteus. At times, it can also have a more proximal origin and arise from the tibiofibular trunk.
From its origin point, the fibular artery descends obliquely along the medial crest of the fibula. It usually courses within the flexor hallucis longus muscle, or in a fibrous canal formed between the tibialis posterior and flexor hallucis longus muscles. Proximally, the fibular artery is covered by the soleus muscle and the transverse intermuscular septum, while the flexor hallucis longus muscle covers its distal portion.
As it reaches the tibiofibular syndesmosis, the fibular artery ends by dividing into its terminal branches.
Branches and supply
Along its course, the fibular artery gives off several branches; muscular, nutrient, perforating, communicating and calcaneal branches.
- Muscular branches: arise as several short branches that supply the muscles of the deep posterior and lateral compartments of the leg. These include the popliteus, soleus, tibialis posterior, and flexor hallucis longus muscles.
- Nutrient artery of fibula: arises from the fibular artery roughly 7 cm after its origin and pierces the fibula at its medial crest, near the middle third of the bone shaft, providing it with endosteal supply.
- Perforating branches: arise as several branches, usually around 5-7. Out of all of them, one branch is usually of a larger caliber. This branch pierces the distal interosseous membrane proximal to the lateral malleolus to enter the anterior compartment of the leg. Here, it anastomoses with the anterior lateral malleolar branch of the anterior tibial artery. The perforating branch then passes to the dorsum of the foot where it supplies the tarsus and anastomoses with the lateral tarsal artery. Other perforating branches pierce the deep fascia and supply the skin of the posterolateral leg.
- Posterior lateral malleolar branch: surrounds the lateral malleolus and anastomoses with other malleolar arteries, contributing to the lateral malleolar vascular network.
- Communicating branch: anastomoses with a communicating branch of the posterior tibial artery about 5 cm proximal to the ankle.
- Calcaneal branches: arise as terminal branches of the fibular artery and pass to the lateral side of the calcaneus to anastomose with the calcaneal branches of the posterior tibial artery. They supply the skin over the lateral side of the calcaneal tendon and the calcaneus.