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Other Terms: Arteria femoralis, Artère fémorale
The femoral artery is a continuation of the external iliac artery. It passes directly over the head of the bone, but is separated from it by the iliopsoas muscle, which is where it is readily compressed. The vein is close upon its medial side. The branches of this artery are the deep artery of the thigh, the superficial circumflex iliac, the superficial and deep external pudendal, and the superficial epigastric. Collateral circulation is established by the anastomoses formed between the internal pudendal and the pudendal branch of the femoral; between the superior gluteal and lateral and medial circumflex and the first perforating; between the superficial iliac and the lateral circumflex; between the superficial iliac and the lateral circumflex; between the obturator and the medial circumflex; and between the inferior gluteal and the superior perforating and the medial circumflex. The femoral artery and its continuations lie on the following structures, from above downward: the psoas, pectineus, adductor brevis, and adductor longus muscles. These arteries lie in the femoral triangle and are superficial. From the apex of the triangle, the superficial femoral artery enters adductor canal, which is in the middle of the thigh. The relation of the superficial femoral artery to the vein throughout its course is important. In the femoral triangle, the artery lies to the lateral side of the vein. On the same plane in the apex of the triangle, the artery is in front of the vein. In the adductor canal, it lies in front of, and to the medial side of the vein.