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Sartorius Muscle

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Popliteus muscle
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Origins, insertions, innervation and functions of the popliteus 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.

Function

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.

Pathology

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

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

Author:

  • Achudhan Karunaharamoorthy

Illustrators:

  • Sartorius Muscle - 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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  2. Muscles of the hip and thigh
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  4. Inner hip muscles
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  5. Gluteal muscles
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  6. Anterior thigh muscles
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Knee and leg
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.
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  2. Muscles of the leg and knee
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First look at bones and muscles
First look at bones and muscles
Before immersing in the vast amount of structures that you need to learn in anatomy, let’s start with the main bones and muscles found in the Human body.
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  3. Main bones of the trunk
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  5. Main joints
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  9. Main muscles of the head and neck
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