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Femoral triangle

Femoral triangle
Drawing of the left femoral triangle - shows superior portion of the femoral vein.
Right femoral sheath laid open to show its three compartments
Latin trigonum femoris
Gray's subject #157 626
Dorlands/Elsevier t_19/12823448

The femoral triangle (of Scarpa) is an anatomical region of the upper inner human thigh.



It is bounded by:

One mnemonic to remember the boundaries is "So I May Always Love Sally"[1]

Its floor is formed by the iliopsoas and pectineus. Its roof is formed by the fascia lata.

The femoral artery and vein are enveloped within the femoral sheath.


It is important as a number of vital structures pass through it, right under the skin - most notably (from lateral to medial): These structures are contained within the femoral sheath

These structures are also within the femoral triangle:

  • the Iliopsoas muscle (Iliacus and Psoas major tendons joined together)
  • the Pectineus muscle
  • deep inguinal lymph nodes

Clinical significance

Since the femoral triangle provides easy access to a major artery, coronary angioplasty is often performed by entering the femoral artery at the femoral triangle. In first aid, heavy bleeding in the leg can be stopped by applying pressure to points in the femoral triangle.


Several mnemonics have been created to remember the order of the nerve, artery, and vein in this triangle:[1]

  • lateral to medial - "NAVY": nerve, artery, vein, Y-fronts. (Y-fronts are a type of underwear.)
  • lateral to medial - "NAVEL" nerve, artery, vein, empty space, lymphatics.
  • medial to lateral - "VAN": vein, artery, nerve. These three structures are found in the same order in the intercostal space, from top to bottom.
  • medial to lateral - "vagina, artery, nerve"
  • the phrase "venous near the penis" can be used to remember that the vein is more medial than the artery or nerve.

Additional images

Mnemonic VAN may be rememberd from medial to lateral as Vein artery and Nerve instead of vagina, artery and nerve.


  1. ^ a b Mnemonic at 1142 5414 2776 10
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Femoral_triangle". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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