Muscles of the Leg
Muscles of the Hip: There are several ways of classifying the muscles of the hip: by location or innervation (ventral an dorsal divisions of the plexus layer); by development on the basis of their points of insertion (a posterior group in two layers and an anterior group); and by function (i.e. extensors, flexors, adductors, and abductors). Some hip muscles also act on either the knee joint or on vertebral joints. Additionally, because the area of origin and insertion of many of these muscles are very extensive, these muscles are often involved in several very different movements. In the hip joint, lateral and medial rotation occur along the axis of the limb; extension (also called dorsiflexion or retroversion) and flexion (anteflexion or anteversion) occur along a transverse axis; and abduction and adduction occur about a sagittal axis. The anterior dorsal hip muscles are the iliopsoas, a group of two or three muscles with a shared insertion on the lesser trochanter of the femur. The psoas major originates from the last vertebra and along the lumbar spine to stretch down into the pelvis. The iliacus originates on the iliac fossa on the interior side of the pelvis. The two muscles unite to form the iliopsoas muscle which is inserted on the lesser trochanter of the femur. The psoas minor, only present in about 50 per cent of subjects, originates above psoas major to stretch obliquely down to its insertion on the interior side of the major muscle. The posterior dorsal hip muscles are inserted on or directly below the greater trochanter of the femur. The tensor fascia latae, stretching from the anterior superior iliac spine down into the iliotibial tract, presses the head of the femur into theacetabulum but also flexes, rotates medially, and abducts to hip joint. The piriformis originates on the anterior pelvic surface of the sacrum, passes through the greater sciatic foramen, and inserts on the posterior aspect of the tip of the greater trochanter. In a standing posture it is a lateral rotator, but it also assists extending the thigh. The gluteus maximus has its origin between (and around) the iliac crest and the coccyx from where one part radiates into the iliotibial tract and the other stretches down to the gluteal tuberosity under the greater trochanter. The gluteus maximus is primarily an extensor and lateral rotator of the hip joint, and it comes into action when climbing stairs or rising from a sitting to standing posture. Furthermore, the part inserted into the fascia latae abducts and the part inserted into the gluteal tuberosity adducts the hip. The two deep glutei muscles, the gluteus medius and minimus, originate on the lateral side of the pelvis. The medius muscle is shaped like a cap. Its anterior fibers act as a medial rotator and flexor; the posterior fibers as a lateral rotator and extensor; and the entire muscle abducts the hip. The minimus has similar functions and both muscles are inserted onto the greater trochanter. The ventral hip muscles function as lateral rotators and play an important role in the control of the body's balance. Because they are stronger than the medial rotators, in the normal position of the leg, the apex of the foot is pointing outward to achieve better support. The obturator internus originates on the pelvis on the obturator foramen and its membrane, passes through the lesser sciatic foramen, and is inserted on the trochanteric fossa of the femur. "Bent" over the lesser sciatic notch, which acts as a fulcrum, the muscle forms the strongest lateral rotators of the hip together with the gluteus maximus and quadratus femoris. When sitting with the knees flexed it acts as an abductor. The obturator externus has a parallel course with its origin located on the posterior border of the obturator foramen. It is covered by several muscles and acts as a lateral rotator and a weak adductor. The inferior and superior gemelli represent marginal heads of the obturator internus and assist this muscle. The three muscles have been referred to as the triceps coxae. The quadratus femoris originates at the ischial tuberosity and is inserted onto the intertrochanteric crest between the trochanters. This flattened muscle act as a strong lateral rotator and adductor of the thigh. Hip adductors The adductor muscles of the thigh are innervated by the obturator nerve, with the exception of pectineus which receives fibers from the femoral nerve, and the adductor magnus which receives fibers from the tibial nerve. Thegracilis arises from near the pubic symphysis and is unique among the adductors in that it reaches past the knee to attach on the medial side of the shaft of the tibia, thus acting on two joints. It share its distal insertion with the sartorius and semitendinosus, all three muscles forming the pes anserinus. It is the most medial muscle of the adductors, and with the thigh abducted its origin can be clearly seen arching under the skin. With the knee extended, it adducts the thigh and flexes the hip. The pectineus has its origin on the iliopubic eminence laterally to the gracilis and, rectangular in shape, extends obliquely to attach immediately behind the lesser trochanter and down the pectineal line and the proximal part of the linea aspera on the femur. It is a flexor of the hip joint, and an adductor and a weak medial rotator of the thigh. The adductor brevis originates on the inferior ramus of the pubis below the gracilis and stretches obliquely below the pectineus down to the upper third of the linea aspera. Except for being an adductor, it is a lateral rotator and weak flexor of the hip joint. The adductor longus has its origin at superior ramus of the pubis and inserts medially on the middle third of the linea aspera. Primarily an adductor, it is also responsible for some flexion. The adductor magnus has its origin just behind the longus and lies deep to it. Its wide belly divides into two parts: One is inserted into the linea aspera and the tendon of the other reaches down to adductor tubercle on the medial side of the femur's distal end where it forms an intermuscular septum that separates the flexors from the extensors. Magnus is a powerful adductor, especially active when crossing legs. Its superior part is a lateral rotator but the inferior part acts as a medial rotator on the flexed leg when rotated outward and also extends the hip joint. The adductor minimus is an incompletely separated subdivision of the adductor magnus. Its origin forms an anterior part of the magnus and distally it is inserted on the linea aspera above the magnus. It acts to adduct and lateral rotate the femur. Muscles of the Tight: The muscles of the thigh can be classified into three groups according to their location: anterior and posterior muscles and the adductors (on the medial side). All adductors except gracilis insert on the femur and therefore act only on the hip joint. The majority of the thigh muscles, the "true" thigh muscles, are insert on the leg (either the tibia or the fibula) and thus act primarily on the knee joint. Functionally, the extensors lie anteriorly on the thigh and are distinguished from flexors on the posterior side. Even though the sartorius flexes the knee, it is ontogenetically considered an extensor since its displacement is secondarily. Most of the adductors act exclusively on the hip joint, so functionally they qualify as hip muscles. Of the anterior thigh muscles the largest are the four muscles of the quadriceps femoris: the central rectus femoris, which is surrounded by the three vasti, the vastus intermedius, medialis, and lateralis. Rectus femoris is attached to the pelvis with two tendons, while the vasti are inserted to the femur. All four muscles unite in a common tendon inserted into the patella from where the patellar ligament extends it down to the tibial tuberosity. Fibers from the medial and lateral vasti form two retinacula that stretch past the patella on either sides down to the condyles of the tibia. The quadriceps is the knee extensor, but the rectus femoris additionally flexes the hip joint, and articular muscle of the knee protects the articular capsule of the knee joint from being nipped during extension. The sartorius runs superficially and obliquely down on the anterior side of the thigh, from the anterior superior iliac spine to the pes anserinus on the medial side of the knee, from where it is further extended into the crural fascia. The sartorius acts as a flexor on both the hip and knee, but, due to its oblique course, also contributes to medial rotation of the leg as one of the pes anserinus muscles (with the knee flexed), and to lateral rotation of the hip joint. There are four posterior thigh muscles. The biceps femoris has two heads: The long head has its origin on the ischial tuberosity together with the semitendinosus and acts on two joints. The short head originates from the middle third of the linea aspera on the shaft of the femur and the lateral intermuscular septum of thigh, and acts on only one joint. These two heads unite to form the biceps which inserts on the head of the fibula. The biceps flexes the knee joint and rotates the flexed leg laterally — it is the only lateral rotator of the knee and thus has to oppose all medial rotator. Additionally, the long head extends the hip joint. The semitendiosus and the semimembranosusshare their origin with the long head of the biceps, and both attaches on the medial side of the proximal head of the tibia together with the gracilis and sartorius to form the pes anserinus. The semitendinosus acts on two joints; extension of the hip, flexion of the knee, and medial rotation of the leg. Distally, the semimembranosus' tendon is divided into three parts referred to as the pes anserinus profondus. Functionally, the semimembranosus is similar to the semitendinosus, and thus produces extension at the hip joint and flexion and medial rotation at the knee. Posteriorly below the knee joint, the popliteus stretches obliquely from the lateral femoral epicondyle down to the posterior surface of the tibia. The subpopliteal bursa is located deep to the muscle. Popliteus flexes the knee joint and medially rotates the leg. Muscles of the Foot: With the popliteus as the single exception, all muscles in the leg are attached to the foot and, based on location, can be classified into an anterior and a posterior group separated from each others by the tibia, the fibula, and the interosseous membrane. In turn, these two groups can be subdivided into subgroups or layers — the anterior group consists of the extensors and the peroneals, and the posterior group of a superficial and a deep layer. Functionally, the muscles of the leg are either extensors, responsible for the dorsiflexion of the foot, or flexors, responsible for the plantar flexion. These muscles can also be classified by innervation, muscles supplied by the anterior subdivision of the plexus and those supplied by the posterior subdivision. The leg muscles acting on the foot are called the extrinsic foot muscles whilst the foot muscles located in the foot are called intrinsic. Dorsiflexion (extension) and plantar flexion occur around the transverse axis running through the ankle joint from the tip of the medial malleolus to the tip of the lateral malleolus. Pronation (eversion) and supination (inversion) occur along the oblique axis of the ankle joint.