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Femoral Canal (Right)
Connective Tissue

Femoral Canal (Right)

Canalis femoralis

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The femoral canal is the medial compartment of the femoral sheath and is the smallest of the three compartments of the sheath. It is approximately 2 cm in diameter and is wider proximally at its base. The canal extends distally from the inguinal ligament on the medial side of the femoral vessels.

The base or the proximal end of the femoral canal is known as the femoral ring. It is filled by a condensation of extraperitoneal connective tissue called the femoral septum. The parietal peritoneum covers it from above, where it forms a depression called the femoral fossa.

The femoral canal contains a deep inguinal lymph nodes (gland of Cloquet or Rosenmuller), lymphatic vessels, and areolar tissue. The lymph nodes drain the glans penis and clitoris in males and females, respectively.

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Anatomical Relations

The femoral ring is bounded by the following structures:

—anteriorly, by the inguinal ligament;

—posteriorly, by the pectineus muscle and its overlying fascia;

—medially, by the concave margin of the lacunar ligament (although recent evidence has demonstrated that the true inner ring of the femoral canal is bounded by the iliopubic tract, anteriorly and medially, and by Cooper’s ligament, posteriorly) (Hachisuka, 2003);

—laterally, by the septum separating it from the femoral vein;

The inferior epigastric vessels are related to the junction of the anterior and lateral walls of the femoral ring.


The femoral canal, which lies medial to the femoral vein, allows the femoral vein to increase in size when there is increased venous return (such as in Valsalva). Additionally, the femoral sheath provides mobility to the vessels during hip flexion.

List of Clinical Correlates

—Femoral hernia associated with incarceration or strangulation


Hachisuka, T. (2003) 'Femoral hernia repair', Surg Clin North Am, 83(5), pp. 1189-205.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Femoral Canal

ScienceDirect image

The femoral canal is a potential space that contains fat and lymph nodes and lies medial to the femoral vein just distal to the inguinal ligament.

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