Lateral femoral circumflex artery

The lateral femoral circumflex artery supplies the muscles of the front and middle of the thighs. It branches off from the deep femoral artery although in a minority of cases (15 percent) it arises directly from the femoral artery. Its origin is just below the hip joint. It runs between branches of the femoral nerve. It goes deep into the sartorius muscle, the longest in the human body and into the rectus femoris muscle, one of the four quadriceps of the legs. It divides into anterior, transverse, and descending branches. The lateral femoral circumflex artery, or one of its branches, is sometimes used as a source for vascular grafts during coronary bypass surgery. The descending branch is usually chosen for this purpose. One of the complications of hip fracture fixation surgery is an iatrogenic (doctor-caused) injury to the lateral femoral circumflex artery. Although rare, these injuries are often not noticed immediately. The longer the diagnoses is delayed, the worse the situation becomes. CT angiography is a reliable method of diagnosing injuries to the lateral femoral circumflex artery.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Lateral femoral circumflex artery

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