The lumbar plexus and its branches. (Femoral labeled at bottom left.)
Femoral sheath laid open to show its three compartments. (Femoral nerve visible in yellow.)
|Innervates||anterior compartment of thigh|
|Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy|
The femoral nerve is a nerve in the thigh that supplies skin on the upper thigh and inner leg, and the muscles that extend the knee.
Femoral nerve is the major nerve supplying the anterior compartment of the thigh. It is the largest branch of the lumbar plexus, and arises from the dorsal divisions of the ventral rami of the second, third, and fourth lumbar nerves (L2, L3, and L4).
The nerve enters the femoral triangle by passing beneath the inguinal ligament, just lateral to the femoral artery. In the thigh, the nerve lies in a groove between iliacus muscle and psoas major muscles, outside the femoral sheath, and lateral to the femoral artery. After a short course of about 4 cm in the thigh, the nerve is divided into anterior and posterior divisions, separated by lateral femoral circumflex artery. The branches are shown below:
Signals from the femoral nerve and its branches can be blocked to interrupt transmission of pain signal from the innervation area, by performing a regional nerve blockade. Some of the nerve blocks that works by affecting the femoral nerve are; femoral nerve block, fascia iliaca block and 3-in-1 nerve block.
Structures passing behind the right inguinal ligament