Adductor canal

The adductor canal (subsartorial or Hunter’s canal) is an aponeurotic tunnel in the middle third of the thigh, extending from the apex of the femoral triangle to the opening in the adductor magnus, the adductor hiatus.

Adductor canal
The femoral artery. (Canal not labeled, but region visible at center right.)
Cross-section through the middle of the thigh (the right thigh if seen from below)
LatinCanalis adductorius
Anatomical terminology


It is an intermuscular cleft situated on the medial aspect of the middle third of the thigh on anterior compartment of thigh, and has the following boundaries:

It is covered in by a strong aponeurosis which extends from the vastus medialis, across the femoral vessels to the adductor longus and magnus.


The canal contains the subsartorial artery (superficial femoral artery), subsartorial vein (superficial femoral vein), and branches of the femoral nerve (specifically, the saphenous nerve, and the nerve to the vastus medialis).[1] The femoral artery with its vein and the saphenous nerve enter this canal through the superior foramen. Then, the saphenous nerve and artery and vein of genus descendens exit through the anterior foramen, piercing the vastoadductor intermuscular septum. Finally, the femoral artery and vein exit via the inferior foramen (usually called the hiatus) through the inferior space between the oblique and medial heads of adductor magnus.[2]


The eponym 'Hunter’s canal' is named for John Hunter.[3][4]

Additional Images


This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 627 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  1. Sauerland, Eberhardt K.; Patrick W. Tank; Tank, Patrick W. (2005). Grant's dissector. Hagerstown, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 128. ISBN 0-7817-5484-4.
  2. А.В. Николаев. (2007). Топографическая анатомия и оперативная хирургия. Москва: ГЭОТАР-Медиа (GEOTAR-Media). pp. 174–176. ISBN 978-5-9704-1207-7.
  3. synd/105 at Who Named It?
  4. "CHAPTER 15: THE THIGH AND KNEE". Archived from the original on 21 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27.
  • Anatomy photo:12:07-0103 at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center - "Anterior and Medial Thigh Region: Sartorius Muscle and the Adductor Canal"
  • Anatomy photo:12:08-0105 at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center - "Anterior and Medial Thigh Region: Structures of the Adductor Canal"
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