Lateral tarsal artery
A blood vessel branches into the lateral tarsal artery once the dorsalis pedis artery crosses the navicular bone. This blood vessel delivers oxygenated blood to the tarsal region of the foot. This area is comparable to the carpal region of the hand and wrist; the tarsus made up of many small bones near the joint of the ankle. The lateral tarsal artery is situated between these small bones and the extensor digitorum brevis muscle. For much of its course, the lateral tarsal artery runs in close proximity to the lateral terminal branch of the deep fibular nerve. Unlike other blood vessels, the lateral tarsal artery does not possess a vena comitans of a similar name. Deoxygenated blood is drained from the foot and ankle by a variety of different veins. The foot is known to have poor circulation when compared to the rest of the body. For these reasons, some conditions like osteonecrosis or vascular necrosis are possible. This case of bone cell death occurs due to a lack of blood.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Lateral tarsal artery