Adductor longus muscle
The medial compartment of the thigh consists of numerous muscles which are adductor longus, magnus and brevis together with pectineus and gracilis. The compartment allows us to adduct and medially rotate the hip. The muscles in this compartment are believed to be evolved from both extensor and flexor columns. In this article we will discuss the anatomy of the adductor longus muscle, and also the clinical relevance. We will also conclude with some review questions to test the reader’s understanding of the article content.
The adductor longus, a muscle of the medial compartment of the thigh, it is triangular in shape and present in the floor of femoral triangle and adductors canal originates from the pubic body below the pubic crest i.e. the superior pubic rami (just lateral to the pubic tubercle), and inserts onto the middle third of the medial lip of the linea aspera. This insertion point is lateral to the adductor magnus and brevis insertions, but medial to the insertion of vastus medialis (one of the four components of quadriceps femoris).
The adductor longus muscle lies in front of the adductor magnus e and adductor brevis muscle, the anterior branch of the obturator nerve and profunda femoris vessels. Pectineus muscle is lateral to it while gracilis lies medially. Anterior relations in its upper part are spermatic cord and fascia lata, femoral artery and vein are present anterior to it in the lower part near its attachment.
Blood supply and Innervation
The adductor longus is supplied by the anterior division of the obturator nerve. All three adductors (except hamstring part of the adductor magnus) and gracilis are supplied by the obturator nerve (anterior divisions of the ventral rami of L2-L4). The obturator nerve is a branch of the lumbar plexus, and descends medial to the psoas major muscle in order to enter the pelvis. It runs behind the common iliac vessels, and lateral to the internal iliac artery and ureter. Next, it runs in the lateral wall of the pelvis, and will reach the superior part of the obturator foramen. It passes through the foramen and emerges into the obturator canal, and divides into an anterior and posterior branch. These branches are separated by obturator externus and adductor brevis.
The posterior branch pierces and supplies obturator externus, and descends in the medial compartment to supply adductor brevis and adductor magnus. The nerve also supplies sensation to the upper medial thigh. The anterior branch runs in front of obturator externus, and runs posterior to adductor longus (which it supplies) and pectineus (supplied by the femoral nerve). As the nerve passes the hip, it also gives an articular branch to the joint. It supplies adductor longus, adductor brevis and gracilis. The blood supply to adductor longus comes from two arteries, profunda femoris artery (a branch of the femoral artery) and obturator artery (a branch of the internal iliac artery). The proximal part of the muscle is supplied by medial circumflex artery (branch of the profunda femoris artery). Profunda femoris vein receives tributaries that correspond to the branches of the artery.
Main action of the adductor group of muscles is to adduct the thigh from anatomical position. Adductor longus and magnus are also the medial rotators and flexors of the thigh. The adductors help to stabilize the stance while standing, they also have important role in balancing the body on lower limb during walking.