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Sartorius Muscle


Anatomy and supply

The sartorius muscle is a long, slim, superficially running extensor of the thigh musculature. It originates from the anterior superior iliac spine of the pelvic bone and runs spirally towards the knee region. There it inserts at the pes anserinus medially from the tibial tuberosity. In its entire course the muscle is covered by a fascial duplication of the fascia lata. The innervation is supplied by the femoral nerve (L2-4).

Topographically the sartorius muscle forms the lateral border of the femoral triangle (Scarpa’s triangle) where the large vessels of the thigh pass through. For this reason the muscle serves as a leading structure when surgically accessing the femoral artery.


The sartorius muscle is a two-joint muscle and moves both the hip and knee joint. Even though anatomically it ranks among the extensors of the thigh its contraction truly causes a flexion of the hip joint. This is because its insertion at the knee joint is located behind the flexion-extension axis. In addition it is involved in the abduction and outward rotation of the hip joint. In the knee joint it forces a flexion and inward rotation. When all five movements are executed simultaneously the legs would cross like in a tailor seat. Therefore the “tailor’s muscle” is most easily palpable in this position.


The pes anserine bursa located at the insertion of the sartorius muscle can inflame (pes anserine bursitis) when chronically overstrained (e.g. when jogging or breaststroking). Common symptoms are pain, swelling and a functional impairment of the three muscles inserting at the pes anserinus (sartorius, semitendinosus and gracilis muscle). If the inflammation is overseen or poorly treated (rest, cooling, pain medication, local corticoid injection if necessary) the bursitis often becomes chronic.

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Show references


  • M. Schünke/E. Schulte/U. Schumacher: Prometheus – LernAtlas der Anatomie – Allgemeine Anatomie und Bewegungssystem, 2.Auflage, Thieme Verlag (2007), S.476
  • W. Graumann/ D.Sasse: CompactLehrbuch der gesamten Anatomie – Band 2 – Bewegungsapparat, Schattauer Verlag (2003), S.164, 169-170
  • R. Wirhed: Sportanatomie – Bewegungslehre, 3.Auflage, Schattauer Verlag (2001), S.12
  • L. Fischer/E. T. Peuker: Lehrbuch Integrative Schmerztherapie, Thieme Verlag (2011), S.403
  • Picture: kenHub

Author: Achudhan Karunaharamoorthy

© 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...
Video count a3db2d98fd28cfd1cd99caddadbde5f907d1e3a493a993db189771b177a2d04f 22 Quiz count 06cd7644291a9e7c4823c938df7a5e5046355b925d999aa0dba2a29a21ef4670 9 Atlas count 29cd72e1d0a4b1f73b30557f7146817906eed0d1c95938cf1dec8ac994772ae5 99 Article count 96ad6c28973916e23cd894dc46f79bb41858ac566ecb5c631f36d6f1f22bd235 102
  1. Pelvis and Femur
  2. Muscles of the hip and thigh
  3. Neurovasculature of the hip and thigh
  4. Inner hip muscles
    Muscle Facts
  5. Gluteal muscles
    Muscle Facts
  6. Anterior thigh muscles
    Muscle Facts
  7. Posterior thigh muscles
    Muscle Facts
  8. Adductors of the thigh
    Muscle Facts
Dashboard tibia and fibula
Knee and leg
The knee joint is found between the thigh and the lower leg. Many structures belong to this area of the body, including the tibia and fibula, and will be seen on this ...
Video count a3db2d98fd28cfd1cd99caddadbde5f907d1e3a493a993db189771b177a2d04f 9 Quiz count 06cd7644291a9e7c4823c938df7a5e5046355b925d999aa0dba2a29a21ef4670 5 Atlas count 29cd72e1d0a4b1f73b30557f7146817906eed0d1c95938cf1dec8ac994772ae5 72 Article count 96ad6c28973916e23cd894dc46f79bb41858ac566ecb5c631f36d6f1f22bd235 63
  1. Tibia and Fibula
  2. Muscles of the leg and knee
  3. Neurovasculature of the leg and knee
  4. Anterior and lateral muscles of the leg
    Muscle Facts
  5. Posterior muscles of the leg
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