Higher division of popliteal artery: a case report

Prakash Babu Billakanti


During the routine dissection of anatomy in an adult male cadaver at the department of anatomy, Manipal University, Manipal, higher division of popliteal artery was observed on the right side. This artery divided proximal to upper border of popliteus muscle into anterior and posterior tibial arteries. Inferomedial genicular artery which is usually a branch of popliteal artery was found to be arising from anterior tibial artery. However arterial branching pattern and point of bifurcation of popliteal artery on the left side were usual. The knowledge of these variations will be useful for angiography or various surgical approaches during knee joint surgery.



Popliteal artery, Higher division, Anterior and Posterior tibial arteries

Full Text:



Colborn GL, Lumsden AB, Taylor BS, Skandalakis JE. The surgical anatomy of the popliteal artery. Am Surg. 1994;60:238-46.

Tindall AJ, Shetty AA, James KD, Middleton A, Fernando KW. Prevalence and surgical significance of a high-origin anterior tibial artery. J Orthop Surg (Hong Kong). 2006;14:13-6.

Standring S. Popliteal artery. In: Standring S, eds. Gray’s Anatomy. 40th ed. London: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2008: 1408.

Lippert H, Pabst R. Popliteal artery. In: Lippert H, Pabst R, eds. Arterial Variations in Man: Classification and Frequency. 1st ed. Munchen: J. F. Bergman Bergman Verlag; 1985: 62.

Klecker RJ, Winalski CS, Aliabadi P, Minas T. The aberrant anterior tibial artery: magnetic resonance appearance, prevalence, and surgical implications. Am J Sports Med. 2008;36:720-7.

Keen JA. A study of the arterial variations in the limbs with special reference to symmetry of vascular patterns. Am J Anat. 1961;108:245-61.

Kim D, Orron DE, Skillman JJ. Surgical significance of popliteal arterial variants. A unified angiographic classification. Ann Surg. 1989;210:776-81.

Thane GD. Popliteal artery. In: Schaefer EA, Thane GD, eds. Quains Elements of Anatomy. Part II. 2nd ed. London: Longmans, Green and Co.; 1892: 495.

Parson FG, Robinson A. Eighth report of the committee of collective investigation of the anatomical society of Great Britain and Ireland for the year 1897-98. J Anat Physiol. 1898;33:189-203.

Somayaji SN, Nayak S, Bairy KL. Variations in the branching pattern of the popliteal artery. J Anat Soc India. 1996;45 23-6.

Mauro MA, Jaques PF, Moore M. The popliteal artery and its branches: embryological basis of normal and variant anatomy. Am Roentgen Ray Soc. 1988;150:435-7.

Ertugrul M, Halil D. Popliteal artery branching patterns detected by digital subtraction angiography. Turkish Soc Radiol. 2010;17:80-3.

Szpinda M. Digital-image analysis of the angiographic patterns of the popliteal artery in patients with aorto-iliac occlusive disease. Ann Anat. 2006;188:377-82.

Azian Abd, Das S. Anatomical insight into the normal and abnormal branching pattern of the popliteal artery. Surg Radiol Anat. 2009;31:563-4.

Bergman RA, Thompson SA, Afifi AK, Saadeh FA. Popliteal vein. Bergman RA, Thompson SA, Afifi AK, Saadeh FA, eds. Compendium of Human Anatomic Variations, Text, Atlas and World Literature. 2nd ed. Baltimore, Munich: Urban and Schwarzenberg; 1988: 93.