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Adductor brevis muscle

Recommended video: Adductor brevis muscle (3D) [05:24]
Anatomy and functions of the adductor brevis muscle shown with 3D model animation.
Adductor brevis muscle (musculus adductor brevis)

Adductor brevis is a flat, triangular muscle that is found in the inner thigh. This muscle runs from the pubis to the medial aspect of the femur. Together with adductor longus, adductor magnus, gracilis and pectineus muscles, it comprises a group of muscles known as the adductors of the thigh

These inner thigh muscles produce movements of the hip joint; primarily thigh adduction, but they also participate in flexion, internal and external rotation and stabilization of the pelvis while standing or walking. Adductor brevis, being one of the shortest muscles from this group, is a weak adductor of the thigh.

In this article, we will discuss the anatomy and function of adductor brevis muscle. 

Key facts about the adductor brevis muscle
Origin Anterior body of pubis, inferior pubic ramus
Insertion Linea aspera of femur (medial lip)
Action Hip joint: thigh flexion, thigh adduction, thigh external rotation; pelvis stabilization
Innervation Obturator nerve (L2-L4)
Blood supply Arteria profunda femoris
  1. Origin and insertion
  2. Relations 
  3. Innervation
  4. Blood supply
  5. Function
  6. Sources
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Origin and insertion

Adductor brevis muscle has a relatively narrow origin located on the anterior surface of the body of pubis, while some fibers also arise from the lateral surface of the inferior pubic ramus. From there, the muscle widens into a triangular shape as it runs inferolaterally towards its insertion on the femur.

The muscle inserts via an aponeurosis on the superior half of the medial lip of linea aspera.  From there the insertion continues halfway down an imaginary line between the lesser trochanter and linea aspera. This wide insertion is located on the upper third of the femur, medial to the insertion of adductor magnus, and lateral to the insertion of pectineus muscle. 

Test your knowledge on the muscles of the hip and thigh with this interactive quiz.


Lying in the middle of the medial compartment of the thigh, the adductor brevis muscle is found posterior to adductor longus and anterior to adductor magnus. Superiorly lies the obturator externus muscle alongside the medial circumflex femoral artery. The inferior aspect of the adductor brevis muscle runs along with gracilis and adductor magnus. Near its insertion on the femur, the middle perforating artery pierces the muscle.

In anatomical cross-sections and during dissections you can differentiate adductor brevis from the other adductors of the thigh, as its anterior and posterior surfaces are crossed by the anterior and posterior branches of the obturator nerve respectively. 

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Like the majority of the thigh adductors, adductor brevis is innervated by the obturator nerve. Obturator nerve is derived from the lumbar plexus (anterior branches of spinal nerves L2-L4).

Blood supply

The blood supply for the adductor brevis muscle typically comes from the deep femoral artery (profunda femoris) and from its branch called the artery for the adductors. It can also be supplied partially from the medial circumflex femoral and obturator artery. Venous blood from this region is drained by the deep femoral vein, whose path follows that of its artery before emptying into the femoral vein.


Adduction of thigh

As its name suggests, the main function of the adductor brevis muscle is adduction of the thigh. This action is particularly active when the thigh is in a flexed position and during the gait cycle. Adductor brevis also has a role in external rotation and flexion of the hip

All adductors of the thigh pull the leg medially when walking. This way, they help to maintain balance and shift the center of gravity onto the supporting foot, while standing and walking. This same group of muscles is also used when crossing our legs.

To expand your knowledge check out our learning materials about the muscles of the hip and thigh.

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