Inguinal ligament

The inguinal ligament is often incorrectly referred to as a Fallopian ligament or Poupart's ligament. The physician Poupart famously noted that this particular ligament was essential to the structure of the abdomen, especially for hernia patients. For this reason, the ligament is often associated with Poupart.

This often-misnamed ligament forms a band that runs from the anterior superior iliac spine (located at the middle edge of each side of the pelvis) to the pubis area of the spine (the lowest part of the pelvis).  The inguinal ligament is protects the constantly moving tissues in the trunk and lower extremities of the body. Along with the adductor longus muscle and the sartorius muscle, this ligament forms the femoral triangle in the human thigh.

The inguinal ligament is at the bottom of the inguinal canal, a passage in the abdominal wall through which the spermatic cord passes in men and the round ligament passes in women. This is an area where hernias can develop.

Hernias occur when soft tissue pushes through a hole or weak spot in the area containing it. Inguinal hernias are the most common type of hernia and are much more likely to occur in men than in women. There are two types of inguinal hernias: direct and indirect. Direct hernias are the result of weak area in the inguinal canal. Indirect hernias occur due to a natural defect in the internal inguinal ring, the area through which a man’s testicles descend before birth.

Men carry a 27 percent chance of sustaining an inguinal hernia during their lifetimes. Not all hernias are dangerous or painful but they do not go away on their own. Surgery is used to fix hernias and the ligaments in the inguinal section of the abdomen provide vital support during hernia operations.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Inguinal ligament

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