Part of the TeachMe Series

Profunda Femoris (Deep Femoral) Artery

star star star star star
based on 1 ratings

Original Author(s): Tausif Huq
Last updated: December 13, 2023
Revisions: 6

Original Author(s): Tausif Huq
Last updated: December 13, 2023
Revisions: 6

format_list_bulletedContents add remove
 

The profunda femoris (deep femoral) artery is the largest branch of the femoral artery.

It arises within the anterior thigh, and travels deeply to supply the muscles and skin of the lateral, medial and posterior thigh.

Course

The profunda femoris artery arises from the posterolateral aspect of the femoral artery proper, approximately 3cm distal to the inguinal ligament. It passes inferiorly and posteriorly into the thigh, along the medial aspect of the femur.

Shortly after its origin, it gives rise to the medial and lateral circumflex femoral arteries.

It travels between the pectineus and adductor longus muscles of the medial thigh compartment, and then between the adductor longus and brevis as it moves inferiorly.

The profunda femoris then pierces the adductor magnus muscle, terminating as a perforating vessel within the thigh.

Fig 1 – The anatomical course of the femoral artery, and its branches.

Supply

The profunda femoris artery gives rise to two major vessels and (usually) three perforating vessels, which supply the muscles and skin of the lateral, medial and posterior thigh:

  • Lateral circumflex femoral artery – supplies the muscles of the anterolateral thigh (vastus lateralis, tensor fascia lata, lateral aspect of rectus femoris and vastus intermedius) and overlying subcutaneous tissue and skin.
  • Medial circumflex femoral artery– supplies the head and neck of the femur, muscles of the medial thigh, and overlying subcutaneous tissue and skin.
  • Perforating arteries (x3) –  supplies the muscles of the posterior thigh and overlying subcutaneous tissue and skin.

Fig 2 – The arterial supply to the posterior thigh is through perforating branches of the profunda femoris.