Arcuate artery of the foot
The arcuate artery of the foot is typically considered one of two major branches of the dorsalis pedis artery, arising just in front of the lateral tarsal artery. However, research has shown that the lateral tarsal may be the true origin of the arcuate artery in some individuals. From its point of origin, the arcuate artery travels laterally across the base of the metatarsal bones before passing under the tendons of the extensor digitorum brevis to connect the lateral tarsal and lateral plantar arteries. The branches of the arcuate artery include the second, third, and fourth dorsal metatarsal arteries. In a study of 72 cadavers, the arcuate artery of the foot was present in only 16.7% of the feet, which means that it may not be the primary source of blood for the second through fourth dorsal metarsal arteries. It was determined that a network of arteries differentiates during development to supply the dorsal metarsal arteries through the arcuate artery, the lateral tarsal artery, the proximal perforating arteries, or a combination of the three.
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In Depth: Arcuate artery of the foot