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Profunda Femoris Artery (Deep Femoral Artery)

Deep Femoral Artery is the main supplier of blood to the muscles of all the 3 compartments of the thigh and is the biggest branch of femoral artery. It is also known as profunda femoris artery. The Deep Femoral Artery originates by Lateral side of femoral artery in the femoral triangle about 4 cm below the inguinal ligament, on the rear side of the femoral vessels, while supplying medial and lateral circumflex arteries. It then goes downwards near to femur respectively between adductor longus and adductor brevis , between adductor longus and adductor magnus while entering posteriorly between pectinus and adductor longus. It makes 3 perforating arteries. The terminal part of Deep Femoral Artery cleaves the adductor magnus as the fourth perforating artery to get to the back of the leg.


The branches of profunda femoris artery or Deep Femoral Artery are summarised as follows:

  • Muscular branches.
  • Medial circumflex femoral artery.
  • Lateral circumflex femoral artery.
  • 4 perforating arteries.

1. The muscular branches of Deep Femoral Artery, supply blood to the muscles which is quite clear by its name itself.

2. The medial circumflex femoral artery leaves the femoral triangle by passing posteriorly, between the pectineus and the psoas major muscles. Afterward it enters successively between the obturator externus and adductor brevis and between the quadratus femoris and upper border of the adductor magnus. Here it produces transverse and ascending branches. The transverse branch takes part in the formation of cruciate anastomosis. The ascending branch enters to the trochanteric fossa and takes part in the formation of trochanteric anastomosis. The acetabular branch of the medial circumflex femoral artery originates before the terminal branches and enters the acetabulum via acetabular notch deep to transverse acetabular ligament. The posterior retinacular branches of medial circumflex femoral artery go through capsule of hip joint to supply the head and neck of the femur. The medial circumflex femoral artery is particularly essential as it supplies the majority of the blood to the head and neck of femur by its posterior retinacular branches.

3. The lateral circumflex femoral artery is the largest branch of the profunda femoris artery(Deep Femoral Artery). It runs laterally between the anterior and posterior sections of the femoral nerve and breaks up into ascending, transverse, and descending branches. The ascending and transverse branches take part in the cruciate anastomosis on the back of the thigh just below the greater trochanter. The descending branch runs down along the anterior border of the vastus lateralis and takes part in the anastomosis around the knee. The perforating arteries are 4 in number. They’re numbered from above downward as first, second, third and fourth; the fourth one being the continuation of the profunda femoris artery.

Clinical Significance

Clinical importance of profunda femoris artery(Deep Femoral Artery): The profunda femoris artery(Deep Femoral Artery) is of great clinical significance because it’s deeply located and is located in close proximity to the femoral shaft; thus, it’s prone to injury in fracture of femoral shaft. The artery is also liable to injury during surgical procedure of mending metallic screws in the femur by an orthopedic surgeon.

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