VASCULATURE OF THE LEG
Arteries of the Leg
The main artery of the leg is the femoral artery, which branches from the abdominal aorta. The femoral artery divides into the popliteal artery, which branches to become the anterior and posterior tibial arteries. The arcuate artery can be found in the ankle.
Veins of the Leg
The main vein of the leg is the great saphenous vein. Many smaller veins circulate the blood back to the saphenous vein, which then flows into the femoral vein before returning to the heart via the external iliac vein and inferior vena cava.
The circulatory system carries blood to all parts of the body, and the one-way flow of blood within the body is called circulation. Arteries (carrying oxygen-rich blood) transport blood away from the heart, and are red in the diagram. Veins (carrying oxygen-poor blood) transport blood back to the heart and are blue in the diagrams.
Texas Heart Institute www.texasheartinstitute.com/HIC/Anatomy/leg_anat.cfm
Updated December 2009