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Iliopsoas Muscle

Anatomy and supply

The iliopsoas muscle belongs to the inner hip muscles. It comprises a complex of two muscles with different areas of origin. This muscle belongs to the striated musculature and the innervation is carried by the femoral nerve as well as direct branches of the lumbar plexus. The iliopsoas muscle consists of:

  • Psoas major muscle: originates from the 1st to 4th lumbar vertebrae, the costal processes of all lumbar vertebrae and the 12th thoracic vertebrae and inserts at the lesser trochanter of the femur.
  • Iliacus muscle: runs from the iliac fossa to the lesser trochanter.

The psoas major and iliacus muscle unify in the lateral pelvis shortly before the inguinal ligament becoming the iliopsoas muscle. There they pass below the inguinal ligament through the muscular lacuna together with the femoral nerve. Both muscles are completely surrounded by the iliac fascia. The lumbar plexus lies dorsally from the psoas major muscle which is penetrated by the genitofemoral nerve. Medially from the psoas major runs the sympathetic trunk.

Function

The iliopsoas muscle is the strongest flexor of the hip joint (important walking muscle). In the supine position it decisively supports the straightening of the upper body (e.g. during sit-ups). Furthermore it rotates the thigh laterally. A unilateral contraction leads to a lateral flexion of the lumbar vertebrae column. Altogether the iliopsoas muscle plays a significant role in the movement and stabilization of the pelvis.

Pathology

Abrupt movements (e.g. shooting the soccer ball) and overload may cause an inflammation of the tendon or the associated bursa (iliopsoas syndrome). A pathological shortening of the muscle leads to hyperlordosis of the lumbar vertebrae column on the long term due to unnatural and incorrect strain. In rare cases an abscess (e.g. in bacterial spondylodiscitis) can spread within the iliac fascia and the muscle compartment until it reaches the lesser trochanter (psoas abscess).

Show references

References:

  • D. Drenckhahn/J. Waschke: Taschenbuch Anatomie, 1.Auflage, Urban & Fischer Verlag/Elsevier (2008), S.76-77
  • M. Schünke/E. Schulte/U. Schumacher: Prometheus – LernAtlas der Anatomie – Allgemeine Anatomie und Bewegungssystem, 2.Auflage, Thieme Verlag (2007), S.152-153, 202
  • J. Weineck: Sportanatomie, 16.Auflage, Spitta Verlag (2003), S.152-154
  • A. Stäbler/B. Erlt-Wanger: Radiologie-Trainer, 11.Auflage, Thieme Verlag (2006), S.145

Author & Layout: Achudhan Karunaharamoorthy, Christopher A. Becker

© Unless stated otherwise, all content, including illustrations are exclusive property of Kenhub GmbH, and are protected by German and international copyright laws. All rights reserved.
Dashboard pelvis and femur
Hip and thigh
The bony framework of the hip and thigh is defined by the bony pelvis and femur. Many structures attach to and pass alongside these bones, and will be explored on this...
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Pelvis and Femur
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Ligaments
Muscles of the hip and thigh
Muscles
Neurovasculature of the hip and thigh
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Nerves
Inner hip muscles
Muscle Facts
Gluteal muscles
Muscle Facts
Anterior thigh muscles
Muscle Facts
Posterior thigh muscles
Muscle Facts
Adductors of the thigh
Muscle Facts
Dashboard ventral trunk
Ventral trunk
The ventral trunk consists of a group structures, including bones and muscles, which define the anterior walls of the abdomen and thorax. All structures defining the v...
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Bones of the ventral trunk
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Clavicle
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Muscles of the ventral trunk II
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Inguinal canal
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Dorsal trunk
The dorsal trunk is a group structures, including bones and muscles, which define the back. All structures defining the dorsal walls of the abdomen and thorax will be ...
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Bones of the dorsal trunk
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Neurovasculature of the dorsal trunk
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Superficial muscles of the back
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Superficial muscles of the back II
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Intrinsic muscles of the back
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Intrinsic muscles of the back: lateral tract
Muscle Facts
Intrinsic muscles of the back: medial tract
Muscle Facts
Suboccipital muscles
Muscle Facts
Dashboard vertebral column
Vertebral column
The vertebral column is a bony structure that provides the main support within the axial skeleton. It is further divided into sections which will be discussed on this ...
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Thoracic and lumbar spines
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Cervical spine
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Sacrum and coccyx
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Ligaments

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