Sartorius muscle

Dr Craig Hacking et al.

The sartorius muscle is the long obliquely oriented muscle of the anterior compartment of the thigh.

  • origin: anterior superior iliac spine
  • insertion: as part of the pes anserinus tendon, onto the medial superior tibia
  • action
    • primary: flexion of the hip and knee
    • secondary: lateral rotation and weak abduction of the thigh (such as when sitting cross-legged)
  • innervation: individual muscular branch from the femoral nerve

The sartorius muscle has long parallel fibers which run obliquely from lateral to medial down the thigh anterior to the quadriceps, in the same direction as the inguinal ligament and the fibers of the external oblique muscles. It forms the roof of the adductor canal in the lower medial thigh. It is pierced by two nerves:

  • intermediate cutaneous nerve of the thigh
  • infrapatellar branch of the saphenous nerve

Named after tailors (sartor is Latin for tailor), who would often sit cross-legged when working.

Sartorius is the longest muscle in the body.

Anatomy: Lower limb
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Article information

rID: 40261
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Sartorius muscles

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: femoral triangle (diagram)
    Drag here to reorder.
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