Popliteal artery

The popliteal artery is the direct continuation of the superficial femoral artery, at the point where it exits the adductor canal at the adductor hiatus, and passes into the popliteal fossa as the vessel courses posteriorly behind the knee.

Variants in popliteal branching pattern 1,2:

  • ~90% of the population displays the typical branching pattern of bifurcation into anterior tibial artery and tibioperoneal trunk
  • ~10% have variant branching pattern:
    • hypoplastic infrapopliteal vessels ~4% (range 1.0-6.8%)
    • high origin of anterior tibial artery ~2.5% (range 0.5-4.5%)
    • trifurcation (no tibioperoneal trunk) ~2% (range 1.5-3.2%)
    • high origin posterior tibial artery ~1%
Anatomy: Lower limb
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Article information

rID: 24870
Tag: artery
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Popliteal arteries

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: popliteal fossa
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