Profunda femoris artery

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 13 Dec 2021

The profunda femoris artery (also known as the deep femoral artery or deep artery of the thigh) is a branch of the femoral artery and is responsible for providing oxygenated blood to the deep structures of the thigh, including the femora.

Posterolateral aspect of the femoral artery at the upper part of the femoral triangle, 2-5 cm below the inguinal ligament

At first lateral to the femoral artery, it then runs behind it and the femoral vein to the medial side of the femur, and passes downward behind the adductor longus muscle, ending in a small terminal branch that pierces the adductor magnus muscle.

At the lower third of thigh in its terminal fourth perforating branch.

  • absence
  • duplication 5
  • additional branches 
  • variable site/side of origin of the medial and lateral femoral circumflex 
  • medial and lateral femoral circumflex originating from the femoral artery
  • may arise or run anterior, lateral or medial to the femoral artery 
  • variable distance below the inguinal ligament of origin 

Mnemonic for the deep branches of the thigh:

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: femoral artery (Gray's illustrations)
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  • Figure 2: femoral artery (Gray's illustrations)
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  • Figure 3: femoral triangle (diagram)
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  • Case 1: variant origin
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