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Iliopsoas Muscle

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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:

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).

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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

Illustrators:

  • Iliopsoas Muscle neutral - Liene Znotina 
  • Iliopsoas muscle function - Liene Znotina 
© 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.
Hip and thigh
Hip and thigh
The framework of the hip and thigh is defined by the bony pelvis and femur. Bones, blood vessels and nerves attach to and pass alongside these bones.
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