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THE ARTERIAL SUPPLY OF THE LOWER END OF THE HUMAN FEMUR
Author(s): 
Pages: 360-365
Year: Issue:  4
Journal: Acta Anatomica Sinica

Keyword:  FemurBlood supplyAnastomosis;
Abstract: The arterial supply of the lower end of the human femur in 100 specimens, ranging in age from the newborn to 87 years, was studied by the perfusion method. Its blood supply is derived from the medial and lateral superior genicular arteries, the descending genicular artery and the middle genicular artery. A complete extracapsular anastomotic ring, surrounding the supracondylar portion of the lower end of the femur, is formed by the medial and lateral superior genicular arteries and the descending genicular artery in 55±4.97%. Its incomplete anterior part is linked by the periosteal arterial network in 45±4.97%. The vessels at the metaphyseal side of the growth plate end in a brush-like pattern, intimately connected to the hypertrophic layer of cells of the growth plate, each vessel turning back in a sharp loop. The anterior and posterior metaphyseal arteries which arise from the extracapsular anastomotic ring and network supply the supracondylar area. The medial and lateral epiphyseal arteries, arising respectively from the descending genicular artery and both superior genicular arteries, supply the medial part of the medial condyle and the lateral part of the lateral condyle. The anterior and intercondylar epiphyseal arteries, arising respectively from the periosteal network and the mildle genicular artery, supply the intercondylar area. The epiphyseal arteries which anastomose with each other in the ossific area of the epiphysis form the precapillaries and capillary network. The anastomotic branches between the epiphyseal arteries, ranging from 25 to 100 microns in diameter, form the arterial plexus in the epiphysis. With the closure of the epiphyseal plate, a free anastomosis is established between the metaphyseal and the epiphyseal vessels. The clinical significance of the topographical characteristics, the course and the distribution of the arterial supply to the lower end of the femur were discussed.
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