Important bony landmarks of the femur are the greater trochanter, the medial epicondyle, and the lateral epicondyle. The former is used to locate the sciatic nerve, the two epicondyles form the outer points of the diamond-shaped popliteal fossa.

Blood loss from a fractured femur can be 1-2 L.

The thigh is divided into three compartments:


  • The anterior compartment contains the quadriceps muscles (rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis and vastus intermedius).
  • The rectus femoris and vastus medialis insert into the quadriceps femoris tendon, and cause the patellar twitch sought when using a nerve stimulator in femoral nerve blockade.


  • The medial compartment contains the adductors (gracilis, pectineus, adductor longus, adductor brevis, adductor magnus and obturator externus).


  • The hamstrings are found in the posterior compartment of the thigh.
Scroll to Top