Volltext: The Cyclopaedia of Anatomy and Physiology, vol. 4: Pla [corr.: Ple] - Wri (4)

pubic, or scrotal branch runs parallel to Pou- 
part’s ligament, in company with, but above, 
the small external cutaneous, reaches the ex¬ 
ternal ring, and divides into internal terminal 
branches supplying the skin over the pubis ; 
and external ones supplying the scrotum in 
the male, and the labia pudendi in the female. 
The lower musculo-cutaneous (small muscu- 
lo-cutaneous—small inguino-cutaneous—small 
abdominal) is a thin delicate nerve, arising 
generally from the first lumbar, sometimes from 
the large musculo-cutaneous, is directed down¬ 
wards and slightly outwards, along the back 
part of the psoas, a little in front of the inner 
border of the quadratus lumborum, crosses the 
iliacus internus about its upper fourth, and 
reaches the anterior third of the crest of the 
ileum. There it is lost by communicating with 
the large musculo-cutaneous, or, as is generally 
the case, passes after this communication as a 
very delicate nerve between the internal ob¬ 
lique and transversalis, supplying the lower 
part of these muscles, but principally the 
latter, and parallel to Poupart’s ligament, per¬ 
forates the former muscle at the outer ring, 
and terminates in a manner similar to the 
pubic or scrotal branch of the upper mus¬ 
culo-cutaneous, in the scrotum and pubic in¬ 
The genito-crural nerve (external sper¬ 
matic — internal inguinal) derived from the 
second lumbar nerve, and sometimes from the 
communicating branch between the first and 
second, passes directly forwards to the anterior 
part of the psoas muscle, along which it de¬ 
scends vertically to the femoral arch. It lies 
behind the spermatic vessels, and is crossed 
by the ureter. Having reached Poupart’s 
ligament, it divides into two branches, an in¬ 
ternal or genital, and an external or crural. 
The genital is directed across the external iliac 
artery (to which it supplies a few filaments) 
to the chord, lying below it as far as the in¬ 
ternal ring. Prior to entering the inguinal 
canal the transversalis and internal oblique re¬ 
ceive a few reflected branches from it. The 
nerve then accompanies the choi’d, crosses the 
epigastric vessels, supplies the cremaster 
muscle, runs immediately in front of Gimber- 
nat’s ligament, and terminates in the scrotal 
integument in the male, and labia pudendi in 
the female, supplying also the integument at 
the upper and inner part of the thigh, and 
communicating with the inferior pudendal 
nerve. The crural branch (femoral-cuta¬ 
neous), having given off several delicate fila¬ 
ments to be distributed to the transversalis 
and internal oblique, crosses the circumflex 
ilii vessels, passes underneath Poupart’s liga¬ 
ment, a little to the outside of the femoral 
artery, pierces the fascia immediately below 
the ligament, and becomes cutaneous, sup¬ 
plying the skin of the thigh at the middle 
part of its upper third. The division of the 
genito-crural into its terminal branches is 
subject to considerable variation, sometimes 
taking place either immediately after it has 
emerged from within the psoas, or within the 
psoas directly after its origin from the plexus. 
The crural division is at times also extremely 
small, the external cutaneous then having a 
more extensive distribution than ordinary. 
The external cutaneous (external inguinal) 
is a branch from the second or from the 
second and third lumbar, or is occasionally 
derived from the outer part of the crural 
nerve. It passes from beneath the outer 
border of the psoas below its middle, runs 
across the iliacus towards the space between 
the two spinous processes of the ilium, lying 
behind the transversalis fascia. It then passes 
beneath Poupart’s ligament, and divides into 
an interior and posterior branch. The poste¬ 
rior passes outwards and backwards over the 
fascia, covering the tensor vaginae femoris, 
and supplies the integument at the upper, 
outer, and back part of the thigh. The ex¬ 
tent of distribution of this branch is subject 
to variation, owing to the circumstance of a 
corresponding branch being occasionally sup¬ 
plied either by the great musculo-cutaneous, 
or by the genito-crural, when the trunk of 
the external cutaneous itself comes from the 
anterior crural. In such instances this branch 
is small and insignificant, if it exist at all. 
The anterior branch becoming cutaneous about 
the upper fifth of the thigh, soon divides into 
an external and internal, directed downwards, 
over the fascia covering the anterior and outer 
part of the rectus muscle. The external di¬ 
vision terminates in the integument at the 
middle third of the outer part of the thigh ; 
the internal at the lower third of the thigh, 
above and to the outside of the patella. 
The crural nerve (femoral) is by far the 
largest branch of the lumbar plexus, and is 
placed in the substance of the psoas muscle 
between the external cutaneous, and the ob¬ 
turator, below the level of the former and 
above that of the latter, from which it diverges 
at an acute angle. It is formed by the union 
of the second with the outer branch of the 
third lumbar nerve, by part of the fourth, and 
generally by their communicating branch. It 
is destined to supply the integuments of the 
front of the thigh, and all the muscles at its 
anterior and outer portion. 
Having emerged from the psoas muscle it 
is directed forwards and outwards between 
that muscle and the iliacus to Poupart’s liga¬ 
ment, under which it passes, and entering the 
thigh becomes flattened and expanded, and 
divides into a series of divergent terminal 
branches, the trunk occasionally bifurcating 
before so doing. 
The nerve in its course within the pelvis is 
situated behind the iliac division of the trans¬ 
versalis fascia, external to the iliac artery, and 
gives off a few branches to the psoas and ili¬ 
acus. Outside the sheath of the femoral vein 
and artery it is separated from the latter by 
the intervention of the psoas muscle. 
The terminal branches may be divided into 
superficial and deep ; the first consisting of 
the internal, and middle cutaneous, and branches 
to the femoral vessels and pcctinceus : the second 
of branches to the quadriceps extensor cruris, 
and the cutaneous branch of the inner and


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