Femoral triangle

Dr Henry Knipe et al.

The femoral triangle is found in the anterior upper thigh.

Gross anatomy


The major boundaries can be recalled with the mnemonic SAIL 1,2:


From lateral to medial 1:

  • femoral nerve
  • femoral sheath (thickening of the deep fascia of the thigh)
    • femoral artery and its branches (within the lateral compartment of the femoral sheath)
    • femoral vein (within the intermediate compartment of the femoral sheath) and deep lymph nodes
    • femoral canal (the medial compartment of the femoral sheath)
      • contains fat and lymph node (of Cloquet)

The basic order can be recalled with the mnemonics seen here.

Radiographic features


The femoral triangle is best seen on coronal reformats but because of its curved nature around the anterior thigh it cannot always be fully seen. Cherian and Parnell 2 have proposed a radiologic femoral triangle (as opposed to the above described anatomic femoral triangle) with the following boundaries:

  • laterally: femoral vein
  • medially: pectineus muscle
  • superiorly: inguinal ligament

Cherian and Parnell state that the importance of the radiologic femoral triangle is that it is a site for femoral hernias identifiable on MDCT and acts as a surrogate site for the femoral canal 2

Anatomy: Lower limb
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Article information

rID: 23387
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Radiologic femoral triangle

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