Femoral Hernia

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Femoral Hernia involves the protrusion of fatty tissue or part of the small intestine into the femoral canal through a weak point in the surrounding muscle wall. Femoral canal is a little defect at the top of the inner thigh (groin).

This canal is narrower (about 2cm wide and 2-4cm deep) than inguinal canal, thereby easily strangulating the tissues that enter (herniate) into it. Femoral hernia is much less common than inguinal hernia, and occurs more frequently in women than men, especially older women.

This is because of the wider shape of the female pelvis than that of male. Unlike inguinal hernia, femoral hernia is rare in children.

Risk Factors for Femoral Hernia 

These include:

  1. lifting heavy objects;
  2. straining due to constipations;
  3. persistent cough and
  4. obesity


Like in inguinal hernia, femoral hernia may become more obvious when intra-abdominal pressure increases through coughing or straining. It can easily be pushed back in. or may disappear spontaneously when the individual lies down. 

Treatment for Femoral Hernia

Femoral hernia requires repair through surgery. The protrusion is pushed back and the weakness in the wall of the abdomen through which it protrudes is strengthened. Once noticed, inguinal hernia should be repaired promptly to avoid complications

Complications of Femoral hernia:

  1. Obstruction – in this case, the contents of the femoral canal get stuck in it. This may manifest as symptoms of bowel obstruction such as abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. The swelling site may be painful also.
  2. Strangulation – here, the blood supply of a section of the tissue trapped inside femoral canal gets cut off and that section of the tissue becomes gangrenous (dead).

Prevention of complications of femoral hernia

To prevent the aforementioned complications of femoral hernia, early recognition and prompt treatment is the key. 

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