Advertisements help pay for this website. Thank you for
Main Anatomy Index
Last updated 30 March 2006
The Adductor Canal (p. 407)
- The adductor canal (subsartorial canal or Hunter's canal)
is about 15 cm in length and is a narrow,
fascial tunnel in the thigh.
- It is located deep to the middle third of the sartorius
muscle, it provides an intermuscular passage through
which the femoral vessels pass to reach the popliteal
fossa, where they become popliteal vessels.
- The adductor canal begins about 15 cm inferior to the
inguinal ligament, where the sartorius muscle crosses
over the adductor longus muscle.
- It ends at the adductor hiatus
in the tendon of the adductor magnus muscle.
of the Adductor Canal
- Laterally: vastus medialis muscle
- Posteromedially: adductor longus
and adductor magnus muscles
- Anteriorly: sartorius muscle
- The sartorius and the subsartorial fascia form the roof of the adductor canal.
- About the middle third of the thigh, a subsartorial
plexus of nerves lies on this fascia. It
supplies the overlying skin.
of the Adductor Canal
- The femoral vessels enter the adductor canal where the
sartorius muscle crosses over the adductor longus muscle,
the vein lying posterior to the artery.
- The femoral
artery and femoral
vein leave the adductor canal through the tendinous
opening in the adductor magnus muscle, known as the adductor hiatus.
- As soon as the femoral vessels enter the popliteal fossa,
they are called the popliteal vessels.
- The profunda femoris artery and
vein do not enter the adductor canal.
- The perforating branches of these deep vessels pierce the
fibres of the adductor muscles to reach the posterior
aspect of the thigh.
- The saphenous nerve, a
cutaneous branch of the femoral nerve, accompanies the
femoral artery through the adductor canal.
- It enters the adductor canal lateral to the artery,
crosses it anteriorly, and lies medial to it at the
distal end of the canal.
- The saphenous nerve does not leave the adductor canal via
the adductor hiatus.
- It passes between the
sartorius and gracilis muscles, pierces
the deep fascia on the medial aspect of the knee, and
passes down the medial side of the leg with the great
- The nerve to the vastus medialis
muscle accompanies the femoral artery through the
proximal part of the adductor canal and then divides into
the branches that supply this muscle and the knee joint.