Citation, DOI and article data
The femoral artery (FA) is the continuation of the external iliac artery (EIA) at the level of the inguinal ligament. As well as supplying oxygenated blood to the lower limb, it gives off smaller branches to the anterior abdominal wall and superficial pelvis.
The FA is commonly known clinically as the common femoral artery (CFA) and superficial femoral artery (SFA). The CFA is the portion of the FA between the inguinal ligament and branching of profunda femoris, and the SFA is the portion distal to the branching of profunda femoris to the adductor hiatus. The "superficial" adjective is considered by some as a misnomer as the artery itself runs deep in the mid-thigh 5.
- origin: continuation of the external iliac artery
- course: courses posterior to the sartorius muscle and anterior to the femoral vein in the adductor canal exiting at the adductor hiatus to continue as the popliteal artery, giving off multiple muscular branches along its course
- profunda femoris deep to adductor longus
- anterior: saphenous nerve, fibrous roof of adductor canal, vastus medialis, sartorius
- posterior: femoral vein (upper part), adductor longus, profunda vessels, adductor magnus
- lateral: femoral vein (lower part), vastus medialis, body of femur
The FA emerges underneath the inguinal ligament medial to the midpoint of the inguinal ligament and medial to the deep inguinal ring, halfway between the anterior superior iliac spine and symphysis pubis. The femoral vein lies medially.
The FA runs down the front and medial side of the thigh with the first 4 cm of the vessel enclosed within the femoral sheath together with the femoral vein. Lateral but outside the sheath is the femoral nerve.
The femoral artery within the femoral triangle (approximately 3-4 cm distal to the inguinal ligament) gives off the profunda femoris branch and ends as it passes through the adductor hiatus in adductor magnus to continue as the popliteal artery.
- anterior: skin, superficial fascia, superficial iliac circumflex vein, superficial layer of fascia lata, anterior part of femoral sheath
- posterior: posterior part of femoral sheath, pectineal fascia, psoas major tendon, capsule of hip joint, adductor longus, femoral vein (lower part of artery in femoral triangle)
- lateral: femoral nerve
- medial: femoral vein (upper part of artery)
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