Femoral (leg) artery aneurysm (dilation)

Legs | Orthopaedics | Femoral (leg) artery aneurysm (dilation) (Disease)


The femoral artery is located in the groin. Aneurysms (widening of the artery) can occur in this location. Patients rarely have any symptoms due to femoral artery aneurysm, they are usually discovered on routine physical examination by a physician.

Most people may never know they have a femoral artery aneurysm, especially if it is small. However, others may experience symptoms. Depending on the size of the aneurysm, a person may be able to feel an actual lump. This lump may be pulsating. Another symptom is cramping in your leg while exercising. In contrast to a symptom you experience while active is pain in your leg at rest. Because the aneurysm may compress a nerve, you may experience pain or numbness in your leg. In extreme cases, you may experience gangrene because of severe blood flow blockage.

Causes and Risk factors

The cause of femoral artery aneurysms is unknown. They tend to occur in older men and women (more common in men) and femoral artery aneurysms are frequently bilateral.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Surgical repair is usually quite successful, durable, and can usually be performed with an acceptably low risk. The best procedure for repair involves an incision in the thigh, removal of the femoral artery aneurysm and reconstruction of the blood flow to the foot using either a vein or an artificial artery (prosthetic artery). Although stents have been used for this repair, it is much less common to do so and the results of repair using a prosthetic artery sewn in place are so good that most specialists do not recommend placing a stent in an area of the lower extremity that is subject to movement and bending. ...

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