The obturator artery is a branch of the internal iliac artery that passes antero-inferiorly (forwards and downwards) on the lateral wall of the pelvis, to the upper part of the obturator foramen, and, escaping from the pelvic cavity through the obturator canal, it divides into both an anterior and a posterior branch.The obturator artery supplies the pelvic muscles it crosses, the head of the femur, the muscles of the medial compartment of the thigh and gives a small branch to the knee capsule. The iliac branch supplies the bone and the iliacus muscle. It also has a cutaneous supply to the medial thigh.
The obturator artery runs along the lateral wall of the lesser pelvis and leaves the pelvic cavity via the obturator canal. Then the obturator artery runs to the thigh dividing into an anterior and a posterior branch to supply the muscles of the medial group of the thigh and the external obturator muscleIt is accompanied by the obturator vein (OV) which terminates into the internal iliac vein (IIV). In about 20-25% cases, OA arises from the inferior epigastric artery (IEA) instead of the internal iliac artery (EIA) and then it is called an abnormal obturator artery (AOA).
The obturator canal is a passageway formed in the obturator foramen by part of the obturator membrane. It connects the pelvis to the thigh. The obturator artery, obturator vein, and obturator nerve all travel through the canal.
Reviews: Advances in Medical Ethics
Posters-Accepted Abstracts: Orthopedic & Muscular System: Current Research
Scientific Tracks Abstracts: Gynecology & Obstetrics