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Surg Radiol Anat. 1998;20(6):419-23.

The lateral calcaneal artery.

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Klinik und Poliklinik für Unfall-, Hand- und Wiederherstellungschirurgie, Medizinischen Einrichtungen der Universität zu Kölń, Germany.


An anatomic study of the lateral extraosseous and intraosseous arterial supply of the calcaneus and the lateral soft tissue was carried out on 10 fresh lower adult cadaver legs using different anatomic and radiologic procedures (plastination, modified Spalteholz clearing technique, digital subtraction and rotational angiography and computed tomographic angiography). Consistent patterns of extraosseous and intraosseous lateral calcaneal vascular anatomy were demonstrated. The lateral calcaneal artery is a branch of the anterior tibial artery which crosses over the calcaneal tuberosity and forms a large lateral arch with the lateral tarsal artery which is a branch of the dorsalis pedis artery. The intraosseous circulation is supplied laterally by the lateral calcanear artery, medially via the short branches of the lateral plantar artery. Comparing magnet resonance images after fresh calcaneal fractures the lateral calcanear artery may be interrupted by the impacted lateral bulge, by the conventional lateral surgical approach, or by applying a lateral osteosynthesis plate. This may cause avascular bone necrosis. Furthermore the lateral calcanear artery can clinically serve as a vascular pedicle for a local rotational skin flap to cover soft tissue defects of the heel.

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