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Flashcards in Femoral nerve Deck (18):

What is special about the femoral nerve?

the largest branch of the lumbar plexus


Describe the anatomical course of the femoral nerve from the lumbar plexus

descend from lumbar plexus in the abdomen - through psoas MAJOR muscle
then travels through pelvis to mid point of inguinal ligament
then behind inguinal ligament into thigh
splits into anterior and posterior division


What happens after the femoral ligament splits into anterior and posterior divisions behind the inguinal ligament?

passes through the femoral triangle lateral to femoral vessels (within femoral sheath) giving off articular branches to the hip & knee joints



What is the terminal cutaneous branch of the femoral nerve?

saphenous nerve - which continues with the femoral artery & vein through the adductor canal


Clinical: taking arterial / venous sampling from the femoral vessels
how to remember which structure lies where?

(lateral) NAVy (medial)
femoral Nerve, femoral Artery, Femoral Vein


Motor functions of the femoral nerve
which muscles does the femoral nerve supply?

supplies the muscles in the anterior thigh


What are the 2 groups of muscles in the anterior thigh that the femoral nerve supplies?

hip flexors and knee extensors


Which muscles are the hip flexors?

pectineus, iliacus, sartorius


Which muscles are the knee extensors?

quadriceps femoris:
rectus femoris
vastus lateralis
vastus intermedius
vastus medialis


What else does the rectus femoris carry out aside from extending leg at knee joint?

steadies the hip joint & assists iliopsoas in flexing the thigh


What is the function of the pectineus muscle?

adducts and flexes the thigh
assist in medial rotation of thigh


Which actions does the iliacus carry out?

acts with psoas major & psoas minor (forming iliopsoas) to flex the thigh at the hip joint & stabilise the hip joint


Which actions does the sartorius carry out?

flexes, abducts and laterally rotates the thigh at the hip joint
flexes the leg at the knee joint


What sensory functions is the femoral nerve responsible for?

1st cutaneous branches of the femoral nerve: anterior cutaneous branches arising in the femoral triangle
supply skin in the anteromedial thigh


what is the last cutaneous branch of the femoral nerve and what does it supply?

the saphenous nerve, supplies the skin on the medial side of the leg and the foot


Clinical: stripping of the saphenous vein
when is it stripped? why is this relevant to the saphenous nerve (terminal cutaneous branch of femoral nerve)?

stripped in individuals with varicose veins
long saphenous vein is accompanied in its course by saphenous nerve
damage to saphenous nerve when removing vein can cause pain, paraesthetia / complete loss of sensation to medial side of lower leg


Clinical: femoral nerve block
when is it used? why?

in combination with a sciatic nerve block, is used in patients requiring lower limb surgery but can't tolerate GENERAL anesthetic
femoral nerve block can also be used for patients with a fractured neck of femur who can't tolerate PARTICULAR analgesics


Nerve roots, motor and sensory function

motor: anterior thigh muscles - flex hip joint (pectineus, iliacus, sartorius) and extend the knee (quadriceps femoris)
sensory: anterior cutaneous branch --> anteriomedial thigh
terminal cutaneous branch --> medial side of leg & foot (saphenous nerve)