The lower limb is divided into 3 compartments, each with a distinct blood supply and innervation. Those compartments are the anterior, lateral, and posterior crural compartments. Each crural compartment contains muscles that work together to make specific movements. The muscles of the anterior compartment are tibialis anterior, extensor hallucis longus, extensor digitorum longus, and fibularis tertius. Together, they dorsiflex the ankle joint and extend the toes. The muscles of the lateral compartment are fibularis longus and fibularis brevis. Together, they pronate the foot. The muscles of the posterior compartment are gastrocnemius, soleus, plantaris, flexor hallucis longus, flexor digitorum longus, tibialis posterior, and popliteus. Together, the muscles of the posterior compartment flex the toes and plantarflex the ankle. The arteries of the lower body are susceptible to atherosclerotic plaques. Excessive buildup of plaques can lead to peripheral artery disease which narrows arteries and reduces blood flow to the tissues. Additionally, acute arterial occlusion followed by reperfusion can cause compartment syndrome, leading to muscle ischemia and is a surgical emergency.
The blood supply of each compartment is:
- Anterior crural compartment: Anterior tibial artery
- Lateral crural compartment: Peroneal artery
- Posterior crural compartment: Posterior tibial artery