Popliteal artery

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Artery: Popliteal artery
Popliteal artery.png
The arteries of the gluteal and posterior femoral regions. (Popliteal labeled at bottom center.)
Lymph glands of popliteal fossa.
Latin arteria poplitea
Gray's p.632
Source femoral artery
Branches anterior tibial, posterior tibial artery, sural, superior genicular (medial, lateral), middle genicular, inferior genicular (medial, lateral)
Vein popliteal vein
MeSH Popliteal+Artery

In human anatomy, the popliteal artery is defined as the extension of the "superficial" femoral artery after passing through the adductor canal and adductor hiatus above the knee. The termination of the popliteal artery is its bifurcation into the anterior tibial artery and posterior tibial artery.

The popliteal artery, through numerous smaller branches, supplies blood to the knee joint and muscles in the thigh and calf. It is accompanied, along its length, by the popliteal vein.


The branches of the popliteal artery are:

Tibial-fibular trunk[edit]

Main article: Tibial-fibular trunk

The fibular artery typically arises from the posterior tibial artery.[1] Therefore, the posterior tibial artery proximal to the fibular artery origin is sometimes called the tibial-peroneal trunk or tibial-fibular trunk and it could be said that the popliteal artery bifurcates into the tibial-fibular trunk and anterior tibial artery.


Its pulse can be palpated behind the knee when it is semi-flexed, but is generally more challenging to find than other arteries of the leg; thus, a readily-detectable and easy-to-find popliteal pulse may actually suggest some pathology.

Additional images[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Day C, Orme R (2006). "Popliteal artery branching patterns -- an angiographic study". Clin Radiol 61 (8): 696–9. doi:10.1016/j.crad.2006.03.014. PMID 16843754. 

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