Femoral vein

Dr Dan J Bell and Dr Geon Oh et al.

The femoral vein is the main deep vein of the lower limb, and accompanies the superficial femoral artery and common femoral artery. The term 'superficial femoral vein or its abbreviation, SFV' should not be used as it is a misnomer (i.e. it is not a superficial vein), this is formally stated in the terminologia anatomica.

Gross anatomy

Origin and course

The femoral vein forms as the continuation of the popliteal vein at the adductor opening, and becomes the external iliac vein as it ascends posterior to the inguinal ligament. There is no common femoral vein.

In the distal adductor canal, the vein is posterolateral to the superficial femoral artery. Proximally in the canal, the vein lies posterior to the artery in the distal femoral triangle and medial to the artery at the base of the triangle.

In the upper thigh, the vein is between the common femoral artery and femoral canal and therefore occupies the middle compartment of the femoral sheath


Lower limb anatomy
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Article information

rID: 45180
System: Vascular
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Superficial femoral vein
  • SFV

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