Penetrating injury to the thigh - importance of the sartorius muscle in protecting the superficial femoral artery

Case contributed by Dr Chris O'Donnell


Fell from a tree. Large wound in the right medial thigh with severe pain. Bleeding ? vascular injury

Patient Data

Age: 25 years
Gender: Male

Long, round, laminated (non-metallic) foreign body consistent with a tree branch in the subcutaneous fat of the upper medial thigh (entering from below along the line of gas and terminating in the upper thigh).  No obvious vascular disruption with muscle separating the foreign body and neurovascular bundle.

Case Discussion

The Sartorius muscle is the longest muscle in the body.  It sits anterior to the superficial femoral artery in the thigh as it passes along the adductor canal.  In this case the muscle belly of Sartorius has prevented the jagged end of the tree branch from penetrating the artery by maintaining the plane of penetration in the subcutaneous tissues.

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Case information

rID: 39226
Published: 26th Aug 2015
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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