The arcuate artery (a. arcuata; metatarsal artery) arises a little anterior to the lateral tarsal artery; it passes lateralward, over the bases of the metatarsal bones, beneath the tendons of the Extensor digitorum brevis, its direction being influenced by its point of origin; and its anastomoses with the lateral tarsal and lateral plantar arteries.
This vessel gives off the second, third, and fourth dorsal metatarsal arteries, which run forward upon the corresponding Interossei dorsales; in the clefts between the toes, each divides into two dorsal digital branches for the adjoining toes. At the proximal parts of the interosseous spaces these vessels receive the posterior perforating branches from the plantar arch, and at the distal parts of the spaces they are joined by the anterior perforating branches, from the plantar metatarsal arteries. The fourth dorsal metatarsal artery gives off a branch which supplies the lateral side of the fifth toe.
The first dorsal metatarsal artery (a. dorsalis hallucis) runs forward on the first Interosseous dorsalis, and at the cleft between the first and second toes divides into two branches, one of which passes beneath the tendon of the Extensor hallucis longus, and is distributed to the medial border of the great toe; the other bifurcates to supply the adjoining sides of the great and second toes.