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International Journal of Morphology

On-line version ISSN 0717-9502


KALICHARAN, A; PILLAY, P; RENNIE, C  and  HAFFAJEE, M. R. The Anatomy of the Plantar Arterial Arch. Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2015, vol.33, n.1, pp.36-42. ISSN 0717-9502.

The plantar arterial arch provides the dominant vascular supply to the digits of the foot, with variability in length, shape, and dominant blood supply from the contributing arteries. According to the standard definition, the plantar arterial arch is formed from the continuation of the lateral plantar artery and the anastomoses between the deep branch of dorsalis pedis artery. In this study, 40 adult feet were dissected and the plantar arch with variations in shape and arterial supply was observed. The standard description of the plantar arch was observed in 55% of the specimens with variations present in 45%. Variations in terms of shape were classified into three types: Type A (10%): plantar arterial arch formed a sharp irregular curve; type B (60%): obtuse curve; type C (3%): spiral curve. Variation in the dominant contributing artery was classified into six types: type A (25%), predominance in the deep branch of dorsalis pedis artery supplying all digits; type B (5%), predominance in the lateral plantar artery supplying digits 3 and 4; and type C (20%), predominance in the deep branch of dorsalis pedis artery supplying digits 2 to 4; type D (24%), equal dominance showed; type E (10%), predominance in the lateral plantar artery supplying digits 3 to 5; and type F (21%), predominance of all digits supplied by lateral plantar artery. The foot was divided into three parts to determine the location of the plantar arterial arch. The second part was further divided into three parts: middle anterior (90%), intermediate middle (10%), and middle posterior (0%). Knowledge of the vascular anatomy of the plantar arterial arch is crucial for understanding sites of partial amputations.

Keywords : Arterial supply; Variations; Plantar arch; Foot; Vascular surgery.

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