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Iliac crest

Recommended video: Bony pelvis [27:56]
Overview of the bony pelvis.

The iliac crest is the superior margin of the ilium. It forms a curved ridge line of bone that can be palpated when you ‘put your hands on your hips’.

This bony crest provides attachments for a number of muscles, ligaments and fascia. Including the lateral abdominal muscles (external abdominal oblique muscle, internal abdominal oblique muscle and transversus abdominis muscle), the quadratus lumborum muscle, and the erector spinae muscles. It also forms the lateral demarcation between the abdominal and pelvic cavities. A transverse line drawn between the uppermost aspect of the left and right iliac crests is known as the supracristal plane, typically this anatomical line passes through L4 vertebra.

The iliac crest ends at its anterior aspect as the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) and at its posterior aspect as the posterior superior iliac spine (PSIS). The iliac tubercle is located on the iliac crest, approximately 5cm posterior to the ASIS.

Terminology English: Iliac crest
Latin: Crista iliaca
Definition Superior margin of the ilium

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Learn more about the pelvic bones with this study unit:

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