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Lateral plantar artery

The lateral plantar artery (also called external plantar artery, Latin: arteria plantaris lateralis) is one of the terminal branches of the posterior tibial artery. It supplies the sole of the foot on the lateral side.

This artery runs distally to the base of the 5th metatarsal bone, turns medially and reaches the interval between the bases of the 1st and 2nd metatarsals. Then the lateral plantar artery unites with the deep plantar branch of the dorsalis pedis artery, completing the plantar arch. The plantar arch extends from the 5th metatarsal laterally to the 1st metatarsal medially and supplies the sole (underside) of the foot.

On its course, the lateral plantar artery gives off muscular branches, superficial branches, anastomotic branches and a calcaneal branch. The lateral plantar artery and its branches supply the adjoining muscles of the foot, and the skin and subcutaneous tissues on the lateral side of the sole.