The femoral nerve L234 Fig 441

• Origins: the posterior divisions of the anterior primary rami of L2,3,4.

• Course: the femoral nerve traverses psoas to emerge at its lateral border. It descends through the iliac fossa to pass under the inguinal ligament. At this point it lies on iliacus, which it supplies, and is situated immediately lateral to the femoral sheath. It branches within the femoral triangle only a short distance (5 cm) beyond the inguinal ligament. The lateral circumflex femoral artery passes through these branches to divide them into superficial and deep divisions:

• Superficial division—consists of medial and intermediate cutaneous branches, which supply the skin over the anterior and medial aspects of the thigh, and two muscular branches. The latter supply sartorius and pectineus.

• Deep division—consists of four muscular branches which supply the components of quadriceps femoris and one cutaneous nerve— the saphenous nerve. The latter nerve is the only branch to extend beyond the knee. It pierces the deep fascia overlying the adductor canal and descends through the leg, accompanied by the great saphenous vein, to supply the skin over the medial aspect of the leg and foot.

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