Femoral Artery: Location, Function & Anatomy (2024)

Where is the femoral artery located?

The location of the femoral artery is at the top of your thigh in an area called the femoral triangle. The triangle is just below your groin, which is the crease where your abdomen ends and your legs begin. The femoral artery runs to the lower thigh and ends behind the knee. At the knee, the femoral artery becomes the popliteal artery.

How is the femoral artery structured?

The femoral artery runs downward in a relatively straight line, but it contains branches that move outward. The femoral artery has several sections:

  • Common femoral artery: This first part of the femoral artery is an extension of the external iliac artery in the pelvis. It contains several branches that supply blood to the tissues in the abdominal wall, groin and pubic area.
  • Deep femoral artery: This artery branches off the common femoral artery. It supplies blood to the femur, hip, buttocks and tissues deep in the thigh.
  • Superficial femoral artery: This part of the femoral artery continues from the common femoral artery. It delivers blood to the lower leg, including the muscles at the front of your thigh and part of your knee.

How big is the femoral artery?

The common femoral artery is about 4 centimeters long (around an inch and a half). The deep and superficial portions continue on down the leg. The diameter of the artery varies widely by sex, weight, height and ethnicity. But it’s usually between 7 and 8 millimeters across (about a quarter of an inch).

The wide diameter of the common femoral artery makes it an ideal access point for endovascular procedures. A surgeon can insert a catheter (thin, flexible tube) into your femoral artery to access other blood vessels in your body, especially those near the heart.


What is the femoral artery made of?

The walls of all arteries, including the femoral artery, contain three layers:

  • Tunica intima: The inner layer keeps your blood flowing smoothly. It regulates blood pressure, prevents blood clots and keeps toxins out of your blood.
  • Media: The middle layer is elastic, which keeps your blood flowing in one direction. The media also helps vessels expand and contract.
  • Adventitia: The outer layer gives blood vessels their structure and support. It contains tiny vessels that deliver oxygen and nutrients from your blood to the wall of the femoral artery.
Femoral Artery: Location, Function & Anatomy (2024)


Femoral Artery: Location, Function & Anatomy? ›

The femoral artery is the major blood vessel supplying blood to your legs. It's in your upper thigh, right near your groin. The artery is a common access point for minimally invasive, catheter-based procedures because of its large diameter.

What is the location and function of the femoral artery? ›

The femoral artery is tasked with delivering blood to your lower limbs and part of the anterior abdominal wall. This artery begins near your groin, in your upper thigh, and follows down your leg to the back of your knee. Along the way, it branches off into different sections. The artery itself runs in a straight line.

Where is the femoral artery in the anatomy zone? ›

Gross anatomy

The femoral artery emerges underneath the inguinal ligament medial to the midpoint of the inguinal ligament and medial to the deep inguinal ring, halfway between the anterior superior iliac spine and symphysis pubis. The femoral vein lies medially.

What is the location and function of the femoral vein? ›

Your femoral vein is a large blood vessel in your thigh. This vein collects deoxygenated blood from tissues in your lower leg and helps move it to your heart. Once blood reaches your heart, it receives oxygen and moves back out to your body through your arteries.

Where is the femoral region anatomy? ›

Known more commonly as the “thigh,” this area serves as a confluence of all major vasculature, lymphatic and nerve supply to the lower extremity; along with the origin and/or insertion of significant musculature which mediates the full range of motion of the hip.

What happens if femoral artery is damaged? ›

The femoral artery is commonly injured following lower extremity trauma. If not identified early and addressed properly, it can lead to compartment syndrome (CS) and limb amputation.

What is the anatomy of the common femoral artery? ›

The common femoral artery (CFA) is located between the inferior margin of the inguinal ligament, and the branching point of the deep femoral artery. Its first three or four centimetres are enclosed, with the femoral vein, in the femoral sheath.

What is the anatomy of the femoral artery access? ›

The relevant anatomy for femoral arterial or venous access is that of the femoral triangle (See Figure 1), a subfascial space in the anterior thigh with the following boundaries: Superior - Inguinal ligament. Lateral – Medial border of the sartorius muscle. Medial – Lateral border of the adductor longus muscle.

What is the landmark of the femoral artery? ›

It is found just medial to the midpoint of the inguinal ligament in the inguinal crease region. The two bony landmarks useful for identifying the inguinal ligament are the anterior superior iliac spine and pubic symphysis.

Can you get a blood clot in your femoral artery? ›

The femoral vein, a blood vessel located deep inside each of the thighs, is prone to blood clots. Known as femoral vein thrombosis, a blood clot in the femoral vein or its branches can have serious consequences.

What causes blood clots in femoral artery? ›

Femoral vein thrombosis can occur as a result of surgery or complications from illness. It can also occur without a known cause or event.

How do you treat a blood clot in the femoral artery? ›

There are several methods to manage post-catheterization femoral artery thrombosis, including surgical thrombectomy, balloon dilatation and surgical excision of the thrombosis. Nevertheless, these modalities may be difficult and complicated in pediatric patients, especially in infants and children (7).

What are symptoms of femoral artery blockage? ›

  • Coldness in the lower leg or foot, especially when compared with the other side.
  • Leg numbness or weakness.
  • No pulse or a weak pulse in the legs or feet.
  • Painful cramping in one or both of the hips, thighs or calf muscles after certain activities, such as walking or climbing stairs.
  • Shiny skin on the legs.
Jun 21, 2022

What are the symptoms of femoral artery pain? ›

Symptoms. Symptoms may include any of the following: Sensation changes in the thigh, knee, or leg, such as decreased sensation, numbness, tingling, burning, or pain. Weakness of the knee or leg, including difficulty going up and down stairs -- especially down, with a feeling of the knee giving way or buckling.

Where is temporal artery located? ›

The superficial temporal artery (STA) constitutes a terminal branch of the external carotid artery, which surfaces posteriorly to the mandible in the parotid gland, and crosses the zygomatic process of the temporal bone (1-3). Large areas of the scalp and face derive their blood supply from the STA.

Where does femoral artery come from? ›

The common femoral artery forms as a continuation of the external iliac artery below the level of the inguinal ligament. It is found just medial to the midpoint of the inguinal ligament in the inguinal crease region.

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