Femoral nerve  
anterior view
  • The femoral nerve is formed by the ventral rami of L2-L4, specifically the posterior divisions of the lumbar plexus.

  • The femoral nerve travels posterior to the inguinal ligament within the muscular lacuna. The muscular lacuna also contains the iliopsoas muscle.

  • "NAVEL" is used to remember the relationship of the femoral nerve to the other neurovascular structures passing deep to the inguinal ligament.

  • The femoral nerve provides motor innervation to the muscles of the anterior compartment of the thigh, with a few exceptions:
    >the psoas portion of iliopsoas is innervated by muscular branches of the lumbar plexus
    >tensor fasciae latae is innervated by the superior gluteal nerve
    >pectineus is occasionally innervated by the obturator nerve

  • The femoral nerve provides sensory innervation to the skin of the anterior thigh and the anteromedial aspect of the leg. The afferent innervation of the leg is provided by the saphenous nerve (a branch of the femoral nerve that travels in the adductor canal).

  • Injury to the femoral nerve typically produces: weakness of hip flexion, loss of knee extension (no patellar reflex), and sensory loss over the territories described above.