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Gluteus Medius- Functional Anatomy

Brief Anatomy Overview

Gluteus medius is a fan-shaped muscle on the lateral hip. It overlays the gluteus minimus. The posterior portion lies under the gluteus maximus. Commonly, it has three sections that converge into a single insertion tendon.

Origin

  • lateral exterior surface of the ilium between the anterior and posterior gluteal lines

Insertion

  • superior, anterior aspect of the greater trochanter

Function

  • abduction and medial rotation of the hip joint

Nerve

  • superior gluteal nerve – (L4-S1)

Attachment Details

It originates from the exterior surface of the ilium between the posterior gluteal line (by the crest) and anterior gluteal lines. The anterior two-thirds is covered and anchored by the gluteal aponeurosis of the fascia lata.

It forms a flat tendonous insertion on the superolateral aspect greater trochanter. This attachment is posterior to the tendon(s) of the gluteus minimus. The tendon of the posterior gluteus medius passes under the tendon of the anterior section as they attach to the greater trochanter. Especially on wider, usually female, pelvic structures, the insertion of the two sections pull on the trochanter at nearly right angles from each other.

Details of Function

Its attachments are better positioned to abduct the hip joint than the gluteus minimus but it is still very involved in medial rotation when the hip is flexed. This abduction shifts the pelvis collaterally when the foot is fixed.

It works with the TFL muscle and the contralateral quadratus lumborum in suspending the opposite hip while the ipsilateral hip is weight-bearing and the contralateral leg swings.

Anomalies, Etc.

More commonly reported anomalies to include having two distinct sections, fusing with the piriformis and fusing with the gluteus minimus.

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