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The biceps femoris muscle, or musculus biceps femoris in latin, is a muscle of the posterior compartment of the thigh alongside the semitendinosus muscle and the semimembranosus muscle. The biceps femoris has two points of origin and is considered to have two heads: the long head of the biceps femoris, and the short head of the biceps femoris. Its name is a reference to its two heads, and its location along the femur. The long head of the biceps femoris originates from the ischial tuberosity of the pelvic bone, while the short head of the biceps femoris originates from the linea aspera and lateral supracondylar line, or ridge, of the femur. Both heads have the same insertion on the lateral aspect of the head of the fibula. The two heads also differ in innervation: the long head of the biceps femoris is innervated by the tibial division of the sciatic nerve, while the short head of the biceps femoris is innervated by the common fibular division of the sciatic nerve. Vascular supply is the same for both heads: perforating branches of the profunda femoris artery, the inferior gluteal artery, and muscular branches of the popliteal artery. Note that the long head receives first and second perforating branches from the profunda femoris artery, while the short head receives second and third perforating branches. Both heads of the biceps femoris are involved in knee flexion, but the long head, with its pelvic origin, is also involved in hip extension.
The long head of the biceps femoris muscle, the semitendinosus muscle, and semimembranosus muscle, are together called the hamstring muscles. These muscles are all innervated by the tibial division of the sciatic nerve, and all originate from the ischial tuberosity. The hamstring muscles work together to perform hip extension and knee flexion. The short head of the biceps femoris is not considered a hamstring muscle because it only works on the knee joint, and has a different origin and different innervation than the hamstring muscles.
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