Deep femoral artery and its branches
The deep femoral artery (also known as the deep artery of the thigh) is the largest of the deep branches of the femoral artery. The deep femoral artery supplies blood to the deep structures of the thigh, including the femur.
It arises below the inguinal ligament, passes posteriorly and descends between the pectineus and adductor longus muscles. Further, the deep femoral artery penetrates the adductor magnus and continues as the third perforating artery.
On its course the deep femoral artery gives off several branches:
- Lateral circumflex femoral artery
- Medial circumflex femoral artery
- Perforating arteries
The lateral circumflex femoral artery (also known as lateral femoral circumflex artery, external circumflex artery) is a branch of the deep femoral artery, which begins in the femoral triangle and lateral to the deep femoral artery. It runs posterior to the rectus femoris as far as the greater trochanter, where it divides into three branches: ascending, transverse, and descending branch. The lateral circumflex femoral artery supplies the anterior muscle group of the thigh, as well as the hip and knee joints.
The medial circumflex femoral artery (also known as medial femoral circumflex artery, internal circumflex artery) arises from the deep femoral artery in the femoral triangle posteromedially, then passes between the iliopsoas and pectineus muscles to the lesser trochanter of the femur, where it divides into two branches: transverse branch and ascending branch. The medial circumflex femoral artery supplies the medial muscle group of the thigh and the hip joint.
The perforating arteries are usually three arteries that arise from the deep femoral artery. These arteries are so called because they perforate the adductor muscles to reach the posterior aspect of the thigh. All perforating arteries together provide blood supply to the posterior muscle group of the thigh and partly to the medial muscle group of the thigh as well.