The arterial supply of the human patellar ligament has been systematized on 20 knee joints. After intravascular injection of colored natural latex, the blood supply to the extensor apparatus of the knee was studied by anatomical dissection and tissue transparentation techniques. Three arterial pedicles (superior, middle and inferior) were observed placed on each side of the patellar ligament. Medial pedicles had their origin from the descending and the inferior medial genicular arteries. The lateral pedicles took their origin from the lateral genicular arteries and the recurrent tibial anterior artery. Two main vascular arches anastomosed with these pedicles: the retropatellar and the supratubercular. Both arterial pedicles and anastomotic arches gave rise to a peritendinous network, characterized by a high vascular density next to poles of the patellar ligament. Only the anastomotic arches gave rise to collateral vessels that pierced the tendon, which revealed two vascular segments in the arterial supply of the patellar ligament (bipolar pattern). The upper segment was supplied by deep vessels from the retropatellar arch, whereas the inferior segment received superficial vessels from collaterals of the supratubercular arch. These intratendinous vessels anastomosed in the middle third of the patellar ligament.
|Journal||Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Aug 2002|
- Blood supply
- Knee joint
- Patellar tendon