Femoral nerve

Femoral nerve
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.)
From L2
To L4
Innervates anterior compartment of thigh
Latin nervus femoralis
MeSH D005267
TA A14.2.07.020
FMA 16486
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). [1]

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: [1]

Muscular branches

Cutaneous branches

  • The anterior division gives off Anterior cutaneous branches: The anterior cutaneous branches are: "intermediate femoral cutaneous nerve" and "medial femoral cutaneous nerve". [1]
  • The posterior division gives off only one branch, which is the saphenous nerve. [1]

Articular branches

  • Hip joint is supplied by nerve to the rectus femoris. [1]
  • Knee joint is supplied by the nerves to the three vasti. The nerve to vastus medialis is particularly thick because it contains the proprioceptive fibres from the knee joint. This is in accordance to the Hilton's law. [1]

Vascular branches

  • Branches to the femoral artery and its branches. [1]
Other Languages
العربية: عصب فخذي
azərbaycanca: Bud siniri
español: Nervio femoral
فارسی: عصب رانی
français: Nerf fémoral
italiano: Nervo femorale
Nederlands: Dijzenuw
日本語: 大腿神経
polski: Nerw udowy
svenska: Lårbensnerv