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In
human anatomy The human body is the structure of a human being Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of ...
, the thigh is the area between the
hip In vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, ...

hip
(
pelvis The pelvis (plural pelves or pelvises) is the lower part of the Trunk (anatomy), trunk, between the human abdomen, abdomen and the thighs (sometimes also called pelvic region), together with its embedded skeleton (sometimes also called bony pel ...

pelvis
) and the
knee In human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodivers ...

knee
. Anatomically, it is part of the
lower limb Lower may refer to: *Lower (surname)Lower is a surname. Notable people with the surname include: * Arthur R. M. Lower (1889–1988) Canadian historian * Britt Lower (born 1985), American actress * Cyrus B. Lower (1843–1924), American Civil War ...
. The single
bone A bone is a rigid tissue Tissue may refer to: Biology * Tissue (biology), an ensemble of similar cells that together carry out a specific function * ''Triphosa haesitata'', a species of geometer moth found in North America * ''Triphosa dubit ...

bone
in the thigh is called the
femur The femur (; ), or thigh bone, is the proximal Standard anatomical terms of location deal unambiguously with the anatomy of animals, including humans. Terms used generally derive from Latin or Greek language, Greek roots and used to describe s ...

femur
. This bone is very thick and strong (due to the high proportion of
bone tissue A bone is a rigid tissue Tissue may refer to: Biology * Tissue (biology), an ensemble of similar cells that together carry out a specific function * ''Triphosa haesitata'', a species of geometer moth found in North America * ''Triphosa dubit ...
), and forms a
ball and socket joint The ball and socket joint (or spheroid joint) is a type of synovial joint A synovial joint, also known as diarthrosis, joins bones or cartilage with a fibrous joint capsule that is continuous with the periosteum of the joined bones, constitute ...
at the
hip In vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, ...

hip
, and a modified
hinge joint A hinge joint (ginglymus or ginglymoid) is a bone A bone is a Stiffness, rigid tissue (anatomy), tissue that constitutes part of the skeleton in most vertebrate animals. Bones protect the various organs of the body, produce red blood cell, r ...

hinge joint
at the knee.


Structure


Bones

The
femur The femur (; ), or thigh bone, is the proximal Standard anatomical terms of location deal unambiguously with the anatomy of animals, including humans. Terms used generally derive from Latin or Greek language, Greek roots and used to describe s ...

femur
is the only bone in the thigh and serves as an attachment site for all muscles in the thigh. The
head of the femur
head of the femur
articulates with the
acetabulum The acetabulum (cotyloid cavity) is a concave Concave means curving in or hollowed inward, as opposed to convex. Concave may refer to: * Concave function In mathematics, a concave function is the additive inverse, negative of a convex function. ...

acetabulum
in the
pelvic bone The hip bone (os coxae, innominate bone, pelvic bone or coxal bone) is a large flat bone, constricted in the center and expanded above and below. In some vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metaz ...
forming the
hip joint In vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, ...
, while the distal part of the femur articulates with the
tibia The tibia (; ), also known as the shinbone or shankbone, is the larger, stronger, and anterior (frontal) of the two bone A bone is a Stiffness, rigid tissue (anatomy), tissue that constitutes part of the skeleton in most vertebrate animals. ...

tibia
and
patella The patella, also known as the kneecap, is a flat, rounded triangular bone which articulates with the femur (thigh bone) and covers and protects the anterior articular surface of the knee joint. The patella is found in many tetrapods, such as mo ...
forming the
knee In human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodivers ...

knee
. By most measures, the femur is the strongest bone in the body. The femur is also the longest bone in the body. The femur is categorised as a
long bone The long bones are those that are longer than they are wide. They are one of five types of bone A bone is a rigid tissue Tissue may refer to: Biology * Tissue (biology), an ensemble of similar cells that together carry out a specific funct ...

long bone
and comprises a
diaphysis The diaphysis is the main or midsection (shaft) of a long bone The long bones are those that are longer than they are wide. They are one of five types of bone A bone is a rigid tissue Tissue may refer to: Biology * Tissue (biology), an en ...
, the shaft (or body) and two
epiphysis The epiphysis is the rounded end of a long bone, at its joint A joint or articulation (or articular surface) is the connection made between bones in the body which link the skeletal system into a functional whole.Saladin, Ken. Anatomy & Physiol ...
or extremities that articulate with adjacent bones in the hip and knee.


Muscular compartments

In cross-section, the thigh is divided up into three separate compartments, divided by
fascia A fascia (; plural fasciae ; adjective fascial; from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Thro ...
, each containing muscles. These compartments use the femur as an axis and are separated by tough
connective tissue Connective tissue is one of the many basic types of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions ...
membranes (or
septa The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is a regional public transportation Public transport (also known as public transportation, public transit, mass transit, or simply transit) is a system of transport Tran ...

septa
). Each of these compartments has its own
blood Blood is a body fluid Body fluids, bodily fluids, or biofluids are liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mechanics, incompressible flow (isochoric process, isochoric flow) refers t ...

blood
and
nerve A nerve is an enclosed, cable-like bundle of fibers (called axon An axon (from Greek ἄξων ''áxōn'', axis), or nerve fiber (or nerve fibre: see spelling differences Despite the various English dialects Dialect The term diale ...

nerve
supply, and contains a different group of
muscle Skeletal muscles (commonly referred to as muscles) are organs An organ is a group of tissues with similar functions. Plant life and animal life rely on many organs that co-exist in organ systems. A given organ's tissues can be broadly cat ...

muscle
s. * Medial fascial compartment of thigh, adductor *
Posterior fascial compartment of thigh The posterior compartment of the thigh is one of the fascial compartments that contains the knee In s and other s, the knee joins the with the and consists of two s: one between the and (tibiofemoral joint), and one between the femur and ...
, flexion,
hamstring In human anatomy The human body is the structure of a human being Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a ...

hamstring
*
Anterior fascial compartment of thigh The anterior compartment of thigh contains muscles which extend the knee In s and other s, the knee joins the with the and consists of two s: one between the and (tibiofemoral joint), and one between the femur and (patellofemoral joint). I ...
, extension Anterior compartment muscles of the thigh include
sartorius
sartorius
, and the four muscles that comprise the
quadriceps muscles The quadriceps femoris muscle (, also called the quadriceps extensor, quadriceps or quads) is a large muscle group that includes the four prevailing muscles on the front of the thigh. It is the great List_of_extensors_of_the_human_body#Knee, exte ...
-
rectus femoris The rectus femoris muscle is one of the four quadriceps muscles of the human body The human body is the structure of a human being. It is composed of many different types of cells that together create tissues and subsequently organ systems ...

rectus femoris
,
vastus medialis The vastus medialis (vastus internus or teardrop muscle) is an list of extensors of the human body, extensor muscle located Anatomical terms of location#Left and right (lateral), and medial, medially in the thigh that extends the knee. The vastus ...

vastus medialis
,
vastus intermedius The vastus intermedius () (Cruraeus) arises from the front and lateral surfaces of the body of the femur in its upper two-thirds, sitting under the rectus femoris muscle and from the lower part of the lateral intermuscular septum of thigh, lateral ...
and
vastus lateralis The vastus lateralis (), also called the ''vastus externus'' is the largest and most powerful part of the quadriceps femoris The quadriceps femoris muscle (, also called the quadriceps extensor, quadriceps or quads) is a large muscle Muscl ...

vastus lateralis
. Posterior compartment muscles of the thigh are the
hamstring muscles In human anatomy The human body is the structure of a human being. It is composed of many different types of cells that together create tissues and subsequently organ systems. They ensure homeostasis In biology Biology is the natura ...
, which include
semimembranosus The semimembranosus muscle () is the most medial of the three hamstring muscles in the thigh. It is so named because it has a flat tendon of origin. It lies posteromedially in the thigh, deep to the semitendinosus muscle. It Anatomical terms of mot ...

semimembranosus
,
semitendinosus The semitendinosus () is a long superficial muscle in the Posterior compartment of thigh, back of the thigh. It is so named because it has a very long tendon of insertion. It lies posteromedially in the thigh, superficial to the semimembranosus. S ...

semitendinosus
, and
biceps femoris The biceps femoris () is a muscle of the thigh located to the posterior, or back. As its name implies, it has two parts, one of which (the long head) forms part of the hamstrings muscle group. Structure It has two heads of origin: *the ''long hea ...

biceps femoris
. Medial compartment muscles are
pectineus The pectineus muscle (, from the Latin word ''pecten'', meaning comb) is a flat, quadrangular muscle, situated at the anterior (front) part of the upper and medial (anatomy), medial (inner) aspect of the thigh. The pectineus muscle is the most ante ...

pectineus
,
adductor magnus The adductor magnus is a large triangular muscle, situated on the medial Medial may refer to: Mathematics * Medial magma, a mathematical identity in algebra Geometry * Medial axis, in geometry the set of all points having more than one close ...

adductor magnus
,
adductor longus In the human body, the adductor longus is a skeletal muscle located in the thigh. One of the adductor muscles of the hip, its main function is to Adduction, adduct the thigh and it is innervated by the obturator nerve. It forms the medial wall o ...

adductor longus
and
adductor brevis The adductor brevis is a muscle in the thigh situated immediately deep to the pectineus and adductor longus muscle, adductor longus. It belongs to the Adductor muscles of the hip, adductor muscle group. The main function of the adductor brevis ...

adductor brevis
, and also gracilis. Because the major muscles of the thigh are the largest muscles of the body, resistance exercises (strength training) of them stimulate blood flow more than any other localized activity.


Blood supply

The arterial supply is by the
femoral artery The femoral artery is a large in the and the main arterial supply to the thigh and leg. The femoral artery gives off the deep femoral artery or and descends along the anteromedial part of the thigh in the . It enters and passes through the , ...
and the
obturator artery The obturator artery is a branch of the internal iliac artery that passes antero-inferiorly (forwards and downwards) on the lateral wall of the pelvis, to the upper part of the obturator foramen, and, escaping from the pelvic cavity through the obtu ...
. 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 The cisterna chyli (or cysterna chyli, and etymologically more correct, receptaculum chyli) is a dilated sac at the lower end of the thoracic duct In human anatomy, the thoracic duct is the larger of the two lymph ducts of the lymphatic system. It ...
. The deep venous system of the thigh consists of the
femoral vein In the human body The human body is the structure of a Human, human being. It is composed of many different types of Cell (biology), cells that together create Tissue (biology), tissues and subsequently organ systems. They ensure homeostasi ...
, the proximal part of the
popliteal vein The popliteal vein is formed by the junction of the venae comitantes of the anterior and posterior tibial vein at the lower border of the popliteus muscle. It travels on the medial side of the popliteal artery. As it ascends through the fossa, ...
, and various smaller vessels; these are the site of proximal
deep venous thrombosis Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of a blood clot A thrombus, colloquially called a blood clot, is the final product of the blood coagulation step in hemostasis. There are two components to a thrombus: aggregated platelets and r ...
. The ''venae perfortantes'' connect the deep and the superficial system, which consists of the
saphenous veins
saphenous veins
(the site of varicose veins).


Clinical significance

Thigh weakness can result in a positive Gowers' sign on physical examination.


Food

The thigh
meat Meat is animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, consume organic material, Cellular respiratio ...

meat
of some animals such as
chicken The chicken (''Gallus gallus domesticus'') is a domestication, domesticated subspecies of the red junglefowl originally from Southeastern Asia. Rooster or cock is a term for an adult male bird, and a younger male may be called a cockerel. A m ...

chicken
and
cow Cow Cattle, or cows (female) and bulls (male), are the most common type of large domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the ...

cow
is consumed as food in many parts of the world.


Society and culture

Western societies generally tolerate clothing that displays thighs, such as
short shorts "Short Shorts" is a song written and performed by Tom Austin, Bill Crandell, Bill Dalton, and Bob Gaudio, the members of The Royal Teens. It reached #2 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, U.S. R&B chart and #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, U.S. pop chart i ...
and
miniskirts A miniskirt (sometimes hyphenated as mini-skirt, separated as mini skirt, or sometimes shortened to simply mini) is a skirt with its hemline well above the knees, generally at mid-thigh level, normally no longer than below the buttocks; and a ...
.
Beachwear A swimsuit is an item of clothing designed to be worn by people engaging in a water-based activity or List of water sports, water sports, such as human swimming, swimming, Diving (sport), diving and surfing, or sun-orientated activities, such as ...
and many
athleisure Athleisure, a type of hybrid clothing, is a fabricated style of clothing typically worn during athletic activities and in other settings, such as at the workplace, at school, or at other casual or social occasions.Elizabeth Holmes, May 5, 2015, ' ...
styles often display thighs as well. Professional dress codes may require covering up bare thighs. Many
Islamic countries The terms Muslim world and Islamic world commonly refer to the ''Islamic community'', which is also known as the Ummah. This consists of all those who adhere to the religion of Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in ...
disapprove of or prohibit the display of thighs, especially by women. Strategic covering or display of thighs is used in popular fashion around the world, such as
thigh-high boots Thigh-high boots, known also as thigh-length boots or simply thigh boots, are boots that extend above the knees to at least mid-thigh. Other terms for this footwear include ''over-the-knee boots'' (abbreviated OTK boots; the full term is also used ...
and '' zettai ryoiki''.


Additional images

Thigh muscles front.png, Front of thigh muscles from Gray's Anatomy of the human body from 1918. Thigh muscles back.png, Back thigh muscles of the gluteal and posterior femoral regions from Gray's Anatomy of the human body from 1918. Gray432.png, Cross-section through the middle of the thigh. File:Sobo 1909 573-574.png, Also showing major blood vessels and nerves. Thigh_cross_section.svg, Cross-section through the middle of the thigh. Gray436.png, The
Obturator externus The external obturator muscle, obturator externus muscle (; OE) is a flat, triangular muscle, which covers the outer surface of the anterior wall of the pelvis. It is sometimes considered part of the medial compartment of thigh, and sometimes co ...

Obturator externus


References

{{Authority control Lower limb anatomy