The medial inferior genicular artery is a cutaneous (superficial) branch of the popliteal artery. It is located in the leg, close to the knee.
It specifically travels downward to the medial head of the gastrocnemius (a muscle of the calf) and the medial ligament of the knee. It surrounds the patella, or kneecap, which lies parallel to (alongside) some of its branches.
It also has branches that join the lateral inferior genicular artery. The medial inferior genicular artery works along with the medial superior genicular and lateral inferior arteries to supply oxygenated blood to the knee joint and the upper end of the tibia, or shinbone. It branches into the upper border of the popliteus muscle and passes under the tibia’s medial condyle (the upper, inner portion of the tibia) and the tibial collateral ligament, which joins the tibia and the femur (thighbone). At the anterior (front) border of the tibial collateral ligament, it raises up to the joint’s frontal and medial (inner knee) sides.
After a patient receives anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, a pseudoaneurysm (or “false aneurysm”) may form in the medial inferior genicular artery. A pseudoaneurysm is when blood leaks from a blood vessel after injury or trauma. One of the major symptoms of this treatable condition is repeated knee hemarthrosis (or bleeding within the joint).