The anatomy of the hip abductor muscles.
The hip abductor muscle group consists of gluteus medius (GMed), gluteus minimus (GMin) and tensor fascia lata (TFL). Apart from hip abduction, GMed and GMin also contribute to rotations in the hip joint. Both serve primarily as internal rotators, however the posterior portion of GMed is often reported to function as an external rotator.
GMed and GMin attach proximally to the external iliac surface; on top of that, the gluteal aponeurosis and iliac crest are often mentioned as origin sites of compartments of GMed. Distally, both muscles insert on the greater trochanter: GMed attaches to the lateral surface and GMin predominantly inserts on the anterior surface. TFL has its origin on the anterior lateral part of the iliac crest and distally inserts into the middle longitudinal layer of the fascia lata.
The hip abductor muscles are innervated by the superior gluteal nerve, which runs through the sciatic foramen above the piriformis muscle, passes anterior between GMed and GMin, courses through the intermuscular plane and eventually enters the TFL. In its course, it splits in two branches, of which the cranial branch (root levels L4 to S1) supplies the posterior region of GMed and GMin, and the caudal branch (S1 and S2) innervates the anterior region of GMed and ends in TFL. > From: Flack et al. Clin Anat 25 (2012) 697-708. All rights reserved to Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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