Posterior branch of the obturator artery

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Artery: Posterior branch of the obturator artery
Latin Ramus posterior arteriae obturatoriae
Gray's p.616
Source Obturator artery

The posterior branch of the obturator artery is a small artery in the leg. It branches off from the obturator artery and follows the posterior margin of the foramen and turns forward on the inferior ramus of the ischium, where it anastomoses with the anterior branch.

It gives twigs to the muscles attached to the ischial tuberosity and anastomoses with the inferior gluteal artery.

It also supplies an articular branch which enters the hip-joint through the acetabular notch, ramifies in the fat at the bottom of the acetabulum and sends a twig along the ligamentum teres to the head of the femur.

The blood supply to the femoral head and neck is enhanced by the artery of the ligamentum teres derived from the obturator artery. In adults, this is small and doesn't have much importance but in children who's epiphyseal line is still made of cartilage which doesn't allow blood supply through it, it helps to supply the head and neck of femur on its own.

The articular branch is usually patent until roughly 15 years of age. In adults it does not provide enough blood supply to prevent avascular necrosis in upper femur fractures.

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This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.