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Sartorius muscle

Sartorius muscle
Muscles of lower extremity. (Rectus femoris removed to reveal the vastus intermedius.)
Latin musculus sartorius
Gray's subject #128 470
Origin: superior to the anterior superior iliac spine
Insertion: medial side of the upper tibia in the pes anserinus
Artery: femoral artery
Nerve: femoral nerve
Action: Flexion of knee, Flexion of leg
Dorlands/Elsevier m_22/12547605

The sartorius muscle is a long thin muscle that runs down the length of the thigh. It is the longest muscle in the human body. Its upper portion forms the lateral border of the femoral triangle.


Origin and insertion

The sartorius muscle arises by tendinous fibres from the anterior superior iliac spine, running obliquely across the upper and anterior part of the thigh in an inferomedial direction.

It descends as far as the medial side of the knee, passing behind the medial condyle of the femur to end in a tendon.

This tendon curves anteriorly to join the tendons of the gracilis and semitendinous muscles which together form the pes anserinus, finally inserting into the proximal part of the tibia on the medial surface of its body.


The name sartorius is the Latin word for "sartorial" (i.e. "to do with tailoring", in turn from sartor i.e. "tailor", in turn from sartus i.e. "patched" or "repaired", in turn from sarcio i.e. "to patch", "to repair").

This name was chosen in reference to the cross-legged position in which tailors once sat.


Assists in flexion, abduction and lateral rotation of hip, and flexion and medial rotation of knee. Looking at the bottom of one's foot, as if one were checking to see if one had stepped in gum, demonstrates all 5 actions of sartorius.


Situated in the anterior fascial compartment of the thigh, sartorius is innervated via branches of the femoral nerve.


Slips of origin from the outer end of the inguinal ligament, the notch of the ilium, the ilio-pectineal line or the pubis occur.

The muscle may be split into two parts, and one part may be inserted into the fascia lata, the femur, the ligament of the patella or the tendon of the Semitendinosus.

The tendon of insertion may end in the fascia lata, the capsule of the knee-joint, or the fascia of the leg.

The muscle may be absent (Scott-Conner, Carol E. H.; David L. Dawson (2003). Operative Anatomy. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 0781735297.  p.606).

Additional images

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 "Sartorius_muscle". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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