Inguinal ligament

The inguinal ligament (or Poupart's ligament, or the Fallopian ligament) is a fibrous band extending from the anterior superior iliac spine to the pubic tubercule. It is an important anatomical landmark and denotes the transition of the pelvis to the lower limb. 

Gross anatomy

The inguinal ligament is formed by the lower border of the aponeurosis of the external oblique muscle, which is thickened and folded on itself. Its lateral half runs obliquely, while the medial half is almost horizontal.

Attachments

The inguinal ligament arises from the anterior superior iliac spine and attaches to the pubic tubercle although there are some fibers which attach elsewhere as extensions or reflections of the inguinal ligament:

  • some fibers pass posteriorly to attach to the superior pubic ramus forming the lacunar ligament (of Gimbernat)
  • fibers that run with the lacunar ligament continue to pass more laterally to attach to the pecten pubis forming pectineal ligament (of Cooper)
  • superior fibers run past the pubic tubercle to fuse with those of the contralateral external oblique aponeurosis forming the reflected inguinal ligament

The upper surface of the ligament gives origin to the external spermatic fascia from its medial part, internal oblique muscle from the lateral two-thirds and transversus abdominis muscle from its lateral one-third.

The ligament is continuous with the fascia lata of the thigh and the upper grooved surface forms the floor of the inguinal canal.

Relations

The retroinguinal passage or subinguinal space is formed deep to the inguinal ligament and contains a number of structures as they pass from the pelvis to the lower limb:

History and etymology

It is named after Francois Poupart, French physician (161-1708) who accurately described the inguinal ligament in 1695 5.

It is also named after Gabriele Falloppio (also known by his Latin name Fallopius), Italian anatomist (1523-1562) after whom also Fallopian tube and Fallopian canal are named.

Anatomy: Abdominopelvic
Share article

Article information

rID: 27058
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Fallopian ligament
  • Ligamentum inguinale
  • Poupart's ligament

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.