The popliteal artery (latin: arteria poplitea) is the continuation of the femoral artery below the adductor hiatus.
The popliteal artery passes through the popliteal fossa and at the lower part of the popliteus muscle divides into its terminal branches: the anterior and posterior tibial arteries.
The popliteal artery gives off several small side branches, and these are:
- lateral superior genicular artery,
- medial superior genicular artery,
- lateral inferior genicular artery,
- medial inferior genicular arteries,
- middle genicular artery,
- sural arteries.
The genicular arteries of the popliteal artery form the periarticular genicular anastomosis, a network of blood vessels surrounding the knee joint and providing collateral circulation.
The sural arteries supply the gastrocnemius, soleus and popliteus muscles.
To sum up, the popliteal artery supplies blood to the knee joint, as well as the triceps surae and popliteus muscles.