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Iliacus – Functional Anatomy


The anatomy of the iliacus is the simplest of the hip flexors.


  • Iliac fossa of the ilium


  • lesser trochanter of the femur


  • flexion of the hip


  • femoral nerve. The nerve root varies, depending on study from L1-L4 but always seems to involve L2-L3.

Iliacus is the most direct and straightforward hip flexor connecting the coxal bone to the femur as it passes over the hip joint. It is part of the iliopsoas complex or deep abdominals.

It is a flat triangular muscle that blends with the fibers of psoas major as it passes over the pubic bone and extends toward the lesser trochanter.

There are infrequent anomalies. They involve a portion that may stay separated as it travels to the insertion on the lesser trochanter. Also, there is an infrequent split belly. Here is one of the studies on its variations.

Here’s a picture of iliacus as it fits into the iliopsoas complex and blends with psoas major.

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