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Thigh

From Academic Kids

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Diagram of the human thigh bone

In humans the thigh is the area between the pelvis and buttocks and the knee. Anatomically, it is part of the lower limb.

There is one bone in the thigh called the femur. This bone is very thick and strong (due to the high proportion of cortical bone), and forms a ball and socket joint at the hip, and a condylar joint at the knee.

Contents

Fascial compartments

In cross-section, the thigh is divided up into three fascial compartments. These compartments are the femur as an axis, and are separated by tough connective tissue membranes (or septa). Each of these compartments has its own blood and nerve supply, and contains a different group of muscles.

Anterior compartment

This contains the flexors of the hip, and extensors of the knee, such as the quadriceps femoris. These muscles are supplied by the femoral nerve and the femoral artery.

Medial compartment

The obturator nerve supplies the hip adductors in this compartment. Muscles include adductor longus, adductor brevis and gracilis.

Posterior compartment

The muscles here are the hamstrings. These muscles flex the knee, and extend the hip. This compartment is sciatic nerve territory.

Blood vessels

The arterial supply is by the femoral artery and the obturator system. The lymphatic drainage closely follows the arterial supply.

The deep venous system of the thigh consists of the femoral vein, the proximal part of the popliteal vein, and various smaller vessels; these are the site of proximal deep venous thrombosis. The venae perfortantes connect the deep and the superficial system, which consists of the saphenous veins (the site of varicose veins).

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