Femoral canal

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Femoral canal
Femoral sheath laid open to show its three compartments. (The femoral canal is both visible and labeled [difficult to see label] medial to the femoral vein.)
Structures passing behind the inguinal ligament. The entrance to the femoral canal, the femoral ring, is labeled at right.
Latin canalis femoralis
Gray's p.625
TA A04.7.03.012
FMA 22405
Anatomical terminology

In human anatomy of the leg, the femoral sheath has three compartments. The lateral compartment contains the femoral artery, the intermediate compartment contains the femoral vein, and the medial and smallest compartment is called the femoral canal. The femoral canal contains efferent lymphatic vessels and a lymph node embedded in a small amount of areolar tissue. It is conical in shape and is about 2 cm long.


The femoral canal is bordered:

It contains the lymph node of Cloquet. It should not be confused with the nearby adductor canal.

Clinical significance[edit]

The entrance to the femoral canal is the femoral ring, through which bowel can sometimes enter, causing a femoral hernia.

Physiological significance[edit]

The position of the femoral canal medially to the femoral vein is of physiologic importance. The space of the canal allows for the expansion of the femoral vein when venous return from the lower limbs is increased or when increased intra-abdominal pressure (valsalva maneuver) causes a temporary stasis in the venous flow.

See also[edit]


This article incorporates text in the public domain from the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

External links[edit]