The Hip: Preservation, Replacement and Revision

Obturator Artery


- Discussion:
    - artery arises from the internal iliac artery in the pelvis;
           - in the pelvis, it sends a branch to the obturator internus muscle;
    - as vessels emerge from obturator canal, they divide into anterior and posterior branches that, instead of continuing down thigh, circle obturator foramen;
    - supplies obturator externus muscle and the adjacent bone;
    - posterior branch of obturator artery usually provides an acetabular branch that enters the acetabular notch and supplies tissue in the acetabular fossa;
           - it usually gives rise to the artery in the ligament of the head of femur;
           - see blood supply to femoral head;

Clinical Considerations:
    - corona mortis
           - refers to communication between either the external iliac (or deep epigastric vessels) and the obturator vessels which can occur in 10-15%;
    - obturator artery is adjaent to the pubic rami and may be injured with fractures or injuries
             - is situated in the fat medial to the obturator internus muscle and has to be mobilized inorder access the quadrilateral plate;
             - dissection may be carried out both above and below the vessel;



Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Obturator Artery

Aberrant obturator artery is a common arterial variant that may be a source of unidentified hemorrhage in pelvic fracture patients



Original Text by Clifford R. Wheeless, III, MD.

Last updated by Data Trace Staff on Sunday, October 11, 2015 12:54 pm