The femoral artery, as shown on an illustration of the circulatory system, is a large blood vessel embedded deep inside thigh tissue parallel to the thighbone, which is also known as the femur, Inner Body explains. The artery is responsible for supplying oxygenated blood to leg tissue.
There are several branches of the femoral artery, Inner Body reports. The largest of these, the common femoral artery, is an extension of the iliac artery located at the inguinal ligament, which serves as the boundary between the leg and the pelvis. From the inguinal ligament, the common femoral artery parallels the head and neck of the femur before branching into the deep femoral artery and the superficial femoral artery.
The superficial femoral artery curves to closely parallel the bend of the thighbone, Inner Body reports. At the knee, the artery curves and descends to form the popliteal artery of the posterior knee. Smaller arteries branch off this blood vessel to supply the skin and the superficial thigh muscles.
The deep femoral artery follows the same course as the superficial femoral artery but is embedded deeper inside thigh tissue and hews closer to the femur, Inner Body explains. The artery branches off into the medial and lateral circumflex arteries. Additionally, the deep femoral artery divides into the vessels that supply the femur and deep thigh muscles with blood. No branch of the deep femoral artery extends to the lower leg or foot.