This section is from the book "The London Medical Dictionary", by Bartholomew Parr. Also available from Amazon: London Medical Dictionary.
(From/emur, the thigh). The femoral artery is the external iliac after it has passed from under Poupart's ligament, and is continued along the thigh into the popliteal. Besides ossification and wounds, this artery may be the seat of an aneurism; a disease distinguished in its early stage by its being circumscribed and small, though the pulsation is sufficiently remarkable; but as the tumour enlarges, the pulsations are more obscure, and at last no longer perceived. When the aneurism is arrived at this stage, the lower part of the leg becomes oedematous; the limb is gradually more useless; and, if relief is not afforded, a mortification will follow. The operation for the aneurism will rarely succeed in this case, for in general the artery is also diseased above the dilatation; and the want of collateral branches to carry on a due circulation is another impediment to the attempt. Amputation, in this instance, as well as when this vessel is wounded near the belly, or near the ham, is the only relief. In case of an aneurism, if, on performing the operation and tying the artery, pain follows, with fever and tension, the issue will be fatal if amputation is not performed. If the aneurismal tumour is about the middle of the thigh, and but small, it may be laid bare, and the artery tied above and below; but if the tumour is large, the artery is diseased above, and the ligature will fail. If the tumour is near the groin, amputation itself will scarcely save the patient's life; if low, near the ham, or in it, amputation is the only means of preventing a fatal mortification. See Mr. Pott's Works, and his Necessity, etc. of Amputation in certain Cases.