A DESCRIPTION OF THE SIZE AND DISTAL BRANCHING PATTERN OF THE DORSALIS PEDIS ARTERY: A CADAVERIC STUDY
Lané Prigge1,2, Nanette Briers2

  1. Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa.
  2. Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University, Pretoria, South Africa.

Correspondence to: L Prigge Department of Anatomy, School of Pathology and Pre-Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, PO Box 232 Medunsa 0204, Republic of South Africa. Email: lane.prigge@smu.ac.za.

ABSTRACT
Detailed knowledge of the dorsalis pedis artery (DPA) on the dorsum of the foot is required for reconstructive surgery, especially when a dorsalis pedis flap is utilised. The aim of this study was to determine the size and branching pattern of the DPA. Within the anterior tarsal tunnel of 40 cadaveric ankles, the size and branches of the DPA were measured, while the relationship of the branches of the DPA to the inferior extensor retinaculum (IER) was noted. The thickness and the locations of the DPA and its branches provided statistically significant data (p>0.05) that the DPA does not divide into equal diameter branches at the level of the ankle joint. The branching pattern of the DPA can be divided into three categories: 27.5% of the arteries arise proximal to the IER, 62.5% of the branches deep to the IER and 10% of the terminal branches distal to the IER. The measurements and locations of the branches noted should assist and inform surgeons of variations during vascular and reconstructive surgery.

Key words: Neurovascular anatomy; reconstructive surgery; bifurcation; foot dorsum; inferior extensor retinaculum.

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