Deep Profunda Femoris variant found within the Sciatic Sheath supplying the posterior compartment of the leg




Driskill, Austin
Fowers, Rylan
Craig, Taylor


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The lower extremity has well documented arterial variations; however, finding an artery within the sciatic sheathing and providing muscular branches to the proximal leg is abnormal. During the dissection of a 64-year-old male cadaver, a branch of the deep femoral artery was found within the sciatic sheath of the lower right extremity in the posterior compartment. Knowledge of the branches of the femoral and deep femoral arteries is clinically relevant in radiology nerve blocking treatment and surgically relevant in knee and femoral surgeries. The deep femoral artery branches off the femoral artery on the proximal portion of the anteriomedial side of the thigh. Deep to the rectus femoris muscle and between the vastus medialis muscle and adductor magnus muscle, the deep femoral artery provides perforating branches that give off cutaneous, anastomotic, and muscular branches to the flexor aspect of the thigh. The variant artery in this cadaver was found as an enlarged perforating branch of the profunda femoris artery, piercing through the adductor magnus muscle and supplying the posterior compartment of the thigh. Perforating branches commonly terminate in the posterior thigh, but this variant continues through the posterior leg and popliteal fossa within the sciatic sheath. The variant blood vessel terminates distal to the knee as muscular branches for both heads of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles.