In humans
Human anatomy
Human anatomy is primarily the scientific study of the morphology of the human body. Anatomy is subdivided into gross anatomy and microscopic anatomy. Gross anatomy is the study of anatomical structures that can be seen by the naked eye...

 the thigh is the area between the pelvis
In human anatomy, the pelvis is the lower part of the trunk, between the abdomen and the lower limbs .The pelvis includes several structures:...

 and the knee
The knee joint joins the thigh with the leg and consists of two articulations: one between the fibula and tibia, and one between the femur and patella. It is the largest joint in the human body and is very complicated. The knee is a mobile trocho-ginglymus , which permits flexion and extension as...

. Anatomically, it is part of the lower limb
Human leg
The human leg is the entire lower extremity or limb of the human body, including the foot, thigh and even the hip or gluteal region; however, the precise definition in human anatomy refers only to the section of the lower limb extending from the knee to the ankle.Legs are used for standing,...


The single bone
Bones are rigid organs that constitute part of the endoskeleton of vertebrates. They support, and protect the various organs of the body, produce red and white blood cells and store minerals. Bone tissue is a type of dense connective tissue...

 in the thigh is called the femur
The femur , or thigh bone, is the most proximal bone of the leg in tetrapod vertebrates capable of walking or jumping, such as most land mammals, birds, many reptiles such as lizards, and amphibians such as frogs. In vertebrates with four legs such as dogs and horses, the femur is found only in...

. This bone is very thick and strong (due to the high proportion of cortical bone
Cortical bone
Cortical bone, synonymous with compact bone, is one of the two types of osseous tissue that form bones. Cortical bone facilitates bone's main functions: to support the whole body, protect organs, provide levers for movement, and store and release chemical elements, mainly calcium. As its name...

), and forms a ball and socket joint
Ball and socket joint
A ball and socket joint is a joint in which the distal bone is capable of motion around an indefinite number of axes, which have one common center...

 at the hip, and a condylar joint at the knee.

Fascial compartments

In cross-section, the thigh is divided up into three fascial compartment
Fascial compartment
On the human body, the limbs can be divided into segments, such as the arm and the forearm of the upper limb, and the thigh and the leg of the lower limb.If these segments are cut transversely, it is apparent that they are divided into multiple sections...

s. These compartments use the femur as an axis, and are separated by tough connective tissue
Connective tissue
"Connective tissue" is a fibrous tissue. It is one of the four traditional classes of tissues . Connective Tissue is found throughout the body.In fact the whole framework of the skeleton and the different specialized connective tissues from the crown of the head to the toes determine the form of...

 membranes (or septa
In anatomy, a septum is a wall, dividing a cavity or structure into smaller ones.-In human anatomy:...

). Each of these compartments has its own blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 and nerve
A peripheral nerve, or simply nerve, is an enclosed, cable-like bundle of peripheral axons . A nerve provides a common pathway for the electrochemical nerve impulses that are transmitted along each of the axons. Nerves are found only in the peripheral nervous system...

 supply, and contains a different group of muscle
Muscle is a contractile tissue of animals and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells. Muscle cells contain contractile filaments that move past each other and change the size of the cell. They are classified as skeletal, cardiac, or smooth muscles. Their function is to...

  • Medial fascial compartment of thigh, adductor
  • Posterior fascial compartment of thigh, flexor, hamstring
    In human anatomy, the hamstring refers to any one of the three posterior thigh muscles, or to the tendons that make up the borders of the space behind the knee. In modern anatomical contexts, however, they usually refer to the posterior thigh muscles, or the tendons of the semitendinosus, the...

  • Anterior fascial compartment of thigh, extensor
    Extension (kinesiology)
    In kinesiology, extension is a movement of a joint that results in increased angle between two bones or body surfaces at a joint. Extension usually results in straightening of the bones or body surfaces involved. For example, extension is produced by extending the flexed elbow. Straightening of...

Overall, the leg (lower limb) consists of seven interior bones:
  • Hip;
  • Femur
    The femur , or thigh bone, is the most proximal bone of the leg in tetrapod vertebrates capable of walking or jumping, such as most land mammals, birds, many reptiles such as lizards, and amphibians such as frogs. In vertebrates with four legs such as dogs and horses, the femur is found only in...

  • Patella;
  • Tibia
    The tibia , shinbone, or shankbone is the larger and stronger of the two bones in the leg below the knee in vertebrates , and connects the knee with the ankle bones....

  • Fibula;
  • Tarsal
    Tarsus (skeleton)
    In tetrapods, the tarsus is a cluster of articulating bones in each foot situated between the lower end of tibia and fibula of the lower leg and the metatarsus. In the foot the tarsus articulates with the bones of the metatarsus, which in turn articulate with the bones of the individual toes...

  • Metatarsal
    The metatarsus or metatarsal bones are a group of five long bones in the foot located between the tarsal bones of the hind- and mid-foot and the phalanges of the toes. Lacking individual names, the metatarsal bones are numbered from the medial side : the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth...

  • Phalanges
    Phalanges of the foot
    The Olphalanges of the foot are the bones in the toes. They correspond, in number and general arrangement, with those of the hand; there are two in the big toe, and three in each of the other toes...

Blood vessels

The arterial supply is by the femoral artery
Femoral artery
The femoral artery is a general term comprising a few large arteries in the thigh. They begin at the inguinal ligament and end just above the knee at adductor canal or Hunter's canal traversing the extent of the femur bone....

 and the obturator artery
Obturator artery
The obturator artery is a branch of the internal iliac artery that passes antero-inferiorly on the lateral wall of the pelvis, to the upper part of the obturator foramen, and, escaping from the pelvic cavity through the obturator canal, it divides into both an anterior and a posterior...

. The lymphatic drainage closely follows the arterial supply and drains to the lumbar lymphatic trunks on the corresponding side, which in turn drains to the cisterna chyli
Cisterna chyli
The cisterna chyli is a dilated sac at the lower end of the thoracic duct into which lymph from the intestinal trunk and two lumbar lymphatic trunks flow.-Flow of lymph:...


The deep venous system of the thigh consists of the femoral vein
Femoral vein
In the human body, the femoral vein is a blood vessel that accompanies the femoral artery in the femoral sheath. It begins at the adductor canal and is a continuation of the popliteal vein...

, the proximal part of the popliteal vein
Popliteal vein
The popliteal vein course runs alongside the popliteal artery but carries the blood from the knee joint and muscles in the thigh and calf back to the heart.Its origin is defined by the junction of the posterior tibial vein and anterior tibial 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 vein
Saphenous vein
Saphenous vein may refer to:*Great saphenous vein*Small saphenous vein...

s (the site of varicose veins).

Muscles and Fascia of the Thigh

Anterior compartment muscles of the thigh include pectineus, sartorius
Sartorius muscle
The Sartorius muscle – the longest muscle in the human body – is a long thin muscle that runs down the length of the thigh. Its upper portion forms the lateral border of the femoral triangle.-Origin and insertion:...

, and the four muscles that comprise the quadriceps muscles- rectus femoris, vastus medialis
Vastus medialis
The vastus medialis , often called the 'teardrop' muscle, is a medially located muscle of the quadriceps.-Function:The vasti appear to act largely in a co-ordinated manner throughout the control of knee extension...

, vastus intermedius and vastus lateralis.

Posterior compartment muscles of the thigh are the hamstring muscles, which include semimembranosus, semitendinosus, and biceps femoris.

Medial compartment muscles are adductor magnus, adductor longus and adductor brevis, and also gracilis
Gracilis muscle
The gracilis is the most superficial muscle on the medial side of the thigh. It is thin and flattened, broad above, narrow and tapering below.-Origin and insertion:...

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