The anterior tibial recurrent artery is an artery that connects with the genicular network after coursing in an upward direction through the leg. It forms the patellar plexus by connecting with the highest genicular artery and the genicular branches of the popliteal artery.
The anterior tibial recurrent artery branches off of the anterior tibial artery in the interosseous (between bones) space. It is reinforced on the front and sides of the joint of the knee. It also serves as a secondary blood supply to the knee.
The anterior tibial recurrent artery ascends in the tibialis anterior muscle. In a fracture of the tibial tubercle (a bony projection at the top front part of the tibia), the tendon insertion may become detached from the anterior tibial recurrent artery. This may lead to a condition known as compartment syndrome. Compartment syndrome symptoms include disproportional pain, pain due to passive stretching of the ankle, and tense lower extremities. The most common treatment for compartment syndrome is a procedure called fasciotomy of all four compartments, in which the fascia (a layer of fibrous connective tissue) is cut away to relieve tension or pressure. Treatment should be treated as urgent, because a delay of more than eight hours could result in nerve death and fibrosis, a condition in which excessive amounts of connective tissue accumulate at the site of the injury.