The Lateral Femoral Circumflex Artery (a. circumflexa femoris lateralis; external circumflex artery) arises from the lateral side of the profunda, passes horizontally between the divisions of the femoral nerve, and behind the Sartorius and Rectus femoris, and divides into ascending, transverse, and descending branches.
The ascending branch passes upward, beneath the Tensor fasciæ latæ, to the lateral aspect of the hip, and anastomoses with the terminal branches of the superior gluteal and deep iliac circumflex arteri.
The descending branch runs downward, behind the Rectus femoris, upon the Vastus lateralis, to which it gives offsets; one long branch descends in the muscle as far as the knee, and anastomoses with the superior lateral genicular branch of the popliteal artery. It is accompanied by the branch of the femoral nerve to the Vastus lateralis.
The transverse branch, the smallest, passes lateralward over the Vastus intermedius, pierces the Vastus lateralis, and winds around the femur, just below the greater trochanter, anastomosing on the back of the thigh with the medial femoral circumflex, inferior gluteal, and first perforating arteries.