The Metatarsal Branch, smaller than the preceding, proceeds forwards and outwards through the fibres of the short extensor, forming a curvature the convexity of which looks forwards, and terminates in anastomosing with the two small arteries last described, and with the external plantar. It gives many small branches to the articulations of the tarsus and to the short extensor muscles. Its most remarkable branches arise from its convexity: they are the three interosseal branches: they run forwards over the muscles filling the second, third and fourth interosseous spaces, and, having arrived at the bases of the phalanges, each of them divides into two small branches. In this manner are produced six smaller branches which supply the toes from the internal margin of the fifth, to the external margin of the second. Opposite the posterior extremities of the metatarsal bones, this artery communicates with the posterior perforating branches of the external plantar; and opposite their anterior extremities it communicates with the anterior perforating arteries, which are branches of the inferior digital.

Arteries of the Front of the Leg.

Fig. 66. Arteries of the Front of the Leg.

1, Anterior Tibial Artery. 2, Recurrent Tibial. 3, Dorsal Pedal. 4,5, External and Internal Malleolar A rteries. 6, Metatarsal Artery. 7, Dorsal Artery of the Great Toe. 8, Terminal Branches of the Articular Arteries, a. Tibia. 6, Anterior Tibial Muscle, c, Extensor or the Great Toe. d. Long Extensor of the Toes. The Short Extensor occupies the back of the foot. e. Peroneal Muscles : on each side of the leg the bellies of the Gastrocnemius are visible.