A 72-year-old man presents to the office because of pain and bulging in his groin. The patient reports that standing exacerbates the pain. The patient is otherwise healthy and has never had surgery. He does not take any medications. Vitals are within normal limits. Physical examination shows a bulge
in the groin that is erythematous and painful to palpation. Scrotal
examination is within normal limits. After further evaluation, the patient is diagnosed with a femoral hernia
and is scheduled for an endoscopic repair under spinal anesthesia. Which of the following structures is at risk of injury in this patient during the repair?