medial circumflex femoral artery

The medial circumflex femoral artery is usually a branch of the profunda femoris that arises close to its origin, usually before the origin of the lateral circumflex femoral artery. It provides blood to the femoral neck and damage to the artery or involvement of it in pathological processes may result in decreased flow and avascular necrosis of the femoral head.


  • origin: profunda femoris
  • supply
  • branches: ascending and descending  

Gross anatomy


The medial circumflex femoral artery arises from the medial aspect of the profunda femoris artery soon after it branches from the common femoral artery in the upper thigh. It travels laterally and posteriorly around the femoral neck between pectineus and the psoas tendon and supplies blood to the femoral neck along with the lateral circumflex femoral artery.


At the upper border of adductor brevis it branches into two:

  • ascending branch goes on to join the trochanteric anastomosis
  • horizontal branch forms the medial limb of the cruiciate anastomosis

The descending branch runs beneath adductor brevis and supplies adductor magnus before branching into three:

  • superficial branch
  • deep branch
  • acetabular branch


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