The femoral artery gives off the following branches. Some, small and superficial, which are distributed to the integument and glands of the groin, or ramify on the lower part of the abdomen, viz., the external pudic (superior and inferior), the superficial epigastric, and the superficial circumflex iliac ; the great nutrient artery of the muscles of the thigh, named the deep femoral; several small muscular branches; and lastly, the anastomotic artery, which descends on the inner side of the knee-joint.
Besides the foregoing ordinary branches, the femoral artery sometimes gives origin to some offsets, usually derived from other sources ; as, for example, the circumflex arteries (branches of the deep femoral), or, but more rarely, the epigastric, the circumflex iliac, or the obturator arteries. These will be noticed in the account of the individual branches. The external pudic arteries, [a. pudenda? externae] arise either separately or by a common trunk from the inner side of the femoral artery. The superior, the more superficial branch (superior pudenda externa, — Haller), courses upwards and inwards to the spine of the pubes, crosses the external abdominal ring, passing, in the male, over the spermatic cord, and is distributed to the integuments on the lower part of the abdomen, and on the external organs of generation. The inferior branch (inferior pudenda externa), more deeply seated, extends inwards, resting on the pectineus muscle, and covered by the fascia lata, which it pierces on reaching the ramus of the pubes. and is distributed to the scrotum in the male, or to the labium in the female, its branches inosculating with those of the superficial perineal artery.
The superficial epigastric artery, [a. epigastrica superficialis s. abdominalis subcutanea, — Halleri] arises from the femoral artery, about half an inch below Poupart's ligament, passes forwards through the saphenous opening in the fascia lata; after which it changes its direction, and runs upwards on the abdomen, in the superficial fascia covering the external oblique muscle. Its branches ramify in the superficial fascia and integument on the lower part of the abdomen; and some, ascending nearly as high as the umbilicus, anastomose with those of the epigastric and internal mammary arteries.
The superficial circumflex iliac artery, 15 [a. circumflexa ilii sup.] runs outwards in the direction of Poupart's ligament, towards the spine of the ilium, across the psoas and iliacus muscles ; to both of these it gives small branches, as also some others which pierce the fascia lata, and are distributed to the integument.
All the preceding arteries give small branches to the lymphatic glands in the groin.
From Quain's anatomy.