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Gracilis muscle

Attachments, innervation and functions of the gracilis muscle.

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Hello, again, everyone. It’s Matt from Kenhub. And in this tutorial, we will discuss the gracilis muscle.

The gracilis muscle or musculus gracilis is a part of a group of muscles known as the adductors of the hip.

This group includes the pectineus muscle, the adductor magnus muscle, the adductor longus muscle, the adductor brevis muscle, and the adductor minimus muscle.

The adductors of the hip are part of the inner hip musculature and range from the lower pelvic bone to the femur and knee region. Thus they lie in between the extensor and flexor group of the thigh muscles.

The hip adductors shape the surface anatomy of the medial thigh.

The innervation of the gracilis is supplied by the obturator nerve which arises from the lumbar plexus and reaches the adductors through the obturator canal.

The gracilis muscle runs from the inferior border of the pubic symphysis to the superficial pes anserinus on to the tibia. Its tendon is easy to palpate in the inguinal region together with the tendon of the adductor longus muscle.

As the name suggests, the main function of the hip adductors is the adduction of the hip joint. Furthermore, the gracilis supports flexion.

As the only two-joint adductor, the gracilis muscle moves the knee as well where its contraction causes the flexion and internal rotation of the knee joint.

The hip adductors are particularly used when crossing one’s legs. Overall, they play an important role in balancing the pelvis during standing and walking.

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