During routine dissection for first MBBS students on 65 years donated embalmed male cadaver in the Department of Anatomy, K.J.Somaiya Medical College, we observed the origin of the anterior tibial artery from medial side of the popliteal artery. The anterior tibial artery turned downward and laterally in between the posterior surface of the popliteus muscle and the posterior peroneotibial trunk. The anterior tibial artery entered in to the anterior compartment of the leg through the oval space located at the superior border of the interosseous membrane of leg. There it traveled downwards on the anterior surface of the interosseous membrane along with the deep peroneal nerve. The posterior peroneotibial trunk distal to the tendinous arch of soleus muscle divides into the posterior tibial and the peroneal arteries. The peroneal artery was larger than the posterior tibial artery. The further course of anterior, posterior tibial and peroneal arteries was normal. The photographs of the variations were taken for proper documentation and ready reference. There were no associated neuromuscular variations found in same specimen. The right lower limb of the same cadaver was normal.
The arthroscopic knee surgery is a convenient and preferred surgical procedure. The knowledge of branching pattern of popliteal artery is important for surgical interventions in the popliteal region in order to minimize the surgical complications due to anatomical variations. Therefore the origin of anterior tibial artery from the popliteal artery proximal to the popliteus muscle is an important anatomical variation which should be kept in mind by the orthopaedicians doing knee joint surgery and total knee arthroplasty, by the surgeons operating on aneurysms of popliteal artery and by the radiologist performing angiographic study.