Femoral Artery is the large artery in the thigh of the lower limb and the main arterial supply to the leg. The femoral artery is the extension of the external iliac artery and It enters the thigh from behind the inguinal ligament as the common femoral artery.
The femoral artery lies midway within the anterior superior iliac spine and the symphysis pubis. The common femoral artery gives off the profunda femoris artery and shifts the superficial femoral artery to descend along the anteromedial part of the thigh in the femoral triangle.
It runs downward and medially successively via the femoral triangle and adductor canal, and shifts the popliteal artery as it moves through an opening in adductor magnus near the junction of the middle and distal thirds of the thigh.
The primary function of the femoral artery is to supply blood to the lower section of the body. Injuries to the femoral artery can need reattachment surgery.
Femoral Artery Course
The femoral artery is the extension of the external iliac artery at the inguinal ligament that serves as the dividing line between the pelvis and the leg. From the inguinal ligament, the femoral artery carries downwards and medially. first in the femoral triangle, and later in the adductor canal, before dividing into the deep femoral artery and the superficial femoral artery.
The superficial femoral artery flexes to follow the femur inferiorly and medially. At its distal edge, it flexes over and descends posterior to the femur before developing the popliteal artery.
Femoral Artery Anatomical Relation
Anteriorly, the skin, superficial fascia, deep fascia and the anterior wall of the femoral sheath.
Medially, the femoral artery is related to the femoral vein in the upper part of its course.
Laterally, the femoral artery is related to the femoral nerve and its branches.
The femoral artery is accompanied by the femoral vein. In the inguinal ligament, the femoral vein is medial to the femoral artery. Then, the femoral vein gradually crosses to the lateral side posterior to the artery. The femoral vein is directly behind the artery at the apex of the femoral triangle, and lateral to the lower end of the artery.
The profunda femoris artery and its companion vein lie backward in the upper part of the femoral artery, where it lies on the pectineus muscle. Lowering down, however, the femoral and profunda arteries are divided by the adductor longus.The profunda femoris artery is a branch of the femoral artery itself.
The femoral nerve sits laterally to the upper part of the artery. Lower down the artery is related to the branches of the nerve, some of which cross it. The femoral nerve branch of the pectineus crosses behind the upper part of the artery. The other femoral nerve branch — the medial cutaneous nerve of the thigh crosses the artery from lateral to the medial side near the apex of the femoral triangle. The saphenous branch crosses the artery within the adductor canal. The nerve of the vastus medialis is lateral to the femoral artery in the adductor canal.
The genitofemoral nerve is a branch femoral nerve is also lateral to the upper part of the femoral artery, inside the femoral sheath, but lower down it crosses to the front of the artery.
Femoral Artery Branches
In a femoral triangle, the profunda femoris artery rises from the posterolateral slant of the femoral artery.
Superficial branches of the femoral artery- Superficial epigastric artery, superficial circumflex iliac artery, and superficial external pudendal artery.
- The superficial epigastric artery is a little branch that passes the inguinal ligament and moves to the region of the umbilicus.
- The superficial circumflex iliac artery is a tiny branch that goes up to the region of the anterior superior iliac spine.
- The superficial external pudendal artery is also a little part that runs medially to supply the skin of the scrotum.
Deep branches of the femoral artery-Deep external pudendal artery, Profunda femoris artery and muscular branches.
- The deep external pudendal artery moves medially and provides the skin of the scrotum.
- The profunda femoris artery is a noble and important branch that rises from the lateral side of the femoral artery about 4 cm inferior the inguinal ligament. It moves medially behind the femoral vessels and enrolls the medial fascial compartment of the thigh. It ends by becoming the fourth perforating artery. At its origin, it gives off the medial and lateral femoral circumflex arteries, and throughout its course, it gives off three perforating arteries.
- The descending genicular artery is a little branch that rises from the femoral artery near its termination inside the adductor canal. It serves in supplying the knee joint.
After exiting the femoral triangle, the femoral artery extends down the anterior surface of the thigh and supplies the anterior thigh muscles.
The adductor canal closes at an opening in the adductor magnus. The femoral artery passes through this opening and penetrates the posterior compartment of the thigh, proximal to the knee. The femoral artery is now known as the popliteal artery. The descending genicular artery leaves the canal by descending inside the substance of vastus medialis and divides into articular and saphenous branches. The saphenous branch, also named the saphenous artery, follows the saphenous nerve as it rises via the roof of adductor canal.
Femoral Artery Clinical Significance
- Femoral artery usually is palpated through the skin, it is frequently used as a catheter access artery. The femoral artery can be pressed against the femoral head at the mid-inguinal point to manage the bleeding in the distal part of the limb.
- The pulsations of the femoral artery are felt by the clinicians in the inner thigh, at the mid-inguinal point, halfway between the pubic symphysis and anterior superior iliac spine.
- The femoral artery is somewhat superficial in the femoral triangle, it’s the preferable artery for cannulation and injecting dye to do manners like angiography. It’s further the chosen vessel for performing the coronary angiography and angioplasty.
- The femoral artery can be practiced to draw arterial blood when the blood pressure is very low that the radial or brachial arteries cannot be determined.