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Gracilis muscle

Gracilis muscle
The gracilis and nearby muscles
Gracilis labeled at center right.
Latin musculus gracilis
Gray's subject #128 471
Origin: ischiopubic ramus
Insertion: tibia (pes anserinus)
Artery: obturator artery
Nerve: anterior branch of obturator nerve
Action: flexes hip, knee
Dorlands/Elsevier m_22/12549236

The Gracilis (Latin: slender) is the most superficial muscle on the medial side of the thigh. It is thin and flattened, broad above, narrow and tapering below. It arises by a thin aponeurosis from the anterior margins of the lower half of the symphysis pubis and the upper half of the pubic arch.

The muscle's fibers run vertically downward, ending in a rounded tendon. This tendon passes behind the medial condyle of the femur, curves around the medial condyle of the tibia where it becomes flattened, and inserts into the upper part of the medial surface of the body of the tibia, below the condyle. At its insertion the tendon is situated immediately above that of the semitendinosus muscle, and its upper edge is overlapped by the tendon of the sartorius muscle, which it joins to form the pes anserinus. The pes anserinus is separated from the medial collateral ligament of the knee-joint by a bursa.

A few of the fibers of the lower part of the tendon are prolonged into the deep fascia of the leg.



The gracilis muscle is commonly used as a flap in microsurgery. According to the classification of Mathes and Nahai it presents a type II blood supply. This allows it to be transferred on its artery derived from the medial circumflex femoral artery. This artery enters the muscle about 10cm from the pubic symphysis. At this point (or 1cm proximal) the nerve also enters.

Transplantation Sites

The muscle may be split to reduce bulk for facial reanimation, as well as to repair hand muscles. It can be used to fashion an external anal sphincter. [1]

Additional images


  1. ^ Moore, Keith (2007). Essential Clinical Anatomy, 3rd ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 

This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Gracilis_muscle". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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