The femoral artery is a general term comprising several large arteries in the thigh that receive blood through the external iliac artery. This connection occurs at the femoral triangle behind the inguinal ligament, which is usually near the head of the femur bone. That proximal section of the femoral artery, known specifically as the common femoral artery, leaves the femoral triangle through an apex beneath the sartorius muscle. It then divides into a deep femoral artery, more commonly known as the profunda, which provides blood to the thigh, and the superficial femoral artery, which connects to the popliteal artery at the opening of adductor magnus, or hunter’s canal, towards the end of the femur.

The branches of femoral arteries are, from proximal to distal, the superficial and deep external pudendal, superficial epigastric, superficial circumflex iliac, profunda femoral and descending genicular arteries.

Schematic of the femoral arteries

The site for optimally palpating the femoral pulse is the inner thigh, at the mid-inguinal point, halfway between the pubic symphysis and anterior superior iliac spine. The presence of a femoral pulse has been estimated to indicate a systolic blood pressure of more than 50 mmHg, as given by the 50 percentile.


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