Gluteal Region of Lower Limb

Superficial Nerves

After the skin of the gluteal region has been removed, you should be able to identify the superficial (cutaneous) nerves in the gluteal area.
The cutaneous nerves in the gluteal area are the:
  • branches of the subcostal nerve (T12)
  • dorsal rami of lumbar nerves
  • forsal rami of sacral nerves
  • inferior cluneal nerves
  • posterior femoral cutaneous nerve

Muscles of the Gluteal Region

The muscles of the gluteal region are responsible for extension, abduction, lateral rotation and slight medial rotation of the hip joint.
Starting from superficial and going deep identify the following muscles:
  • gluteus maximus
  • gluteus medius
  • gluteus minimus
  • piriformis
  • superior gemellus
  • obturator internus
  • inferior gemellus
  • obturator externus
  • quadratus femoris


The tensor fascia latae is seen from the lateral side of the gluteal region.

Table of Muscles

Muscle Origin Insertion Action Nerve
Supply
gluteus maximus outer surface of
ilium, sacrum, coccyx,
sacrotuberous ligament
iliotibial tract,
gluteal tuberosity
of femur
extends and laterally rotates thigh at hip;
through iliotibial tract
it extends knee joint
inferior gluteal nerve
gluteus medius outer surface of ilium greater trochanter of femur abducts thigh at hip; tilts pelvis
when walking
superior gluteal nerve
gluteus minimus outer surface of ilium greater trochanter of femur abducts thigh at hip; anterior fibers medially rotate
thigh
superior gluteal nerve
tensor fasciae latae iliac crest iliotibial tract assists gluteus maximus in
extending the knee joint
superior gluteal nerve
piriformis anterior surface of sacrum greater trochanter of femur lateral rotator of thigh sacral nerve S1 and S2
superior gemellus spine of ischium greater trochanter of femur lateral rotator of thigh sacral plexus
obturator internus inner surface of obturator
membrane
greater trochanter of femur lateral rotator of thigh sacral plexus
inferior gemellus ischial tuberosity greater trochanter of femur lateral rotator of thigh sacral plexus
obturator externus outer surface of obturator
membrane
greater trochanger of femur lateral rotator of thigh obturator nerve
quadratus femoris ischial tuberosity quadrate tubercle on upper end of femur lateral rotator of thigh sacral plexus

Arteries of the Gluteal Region

There are three arteries coming into the gluteal region through the greater sciatic foramen:
  1. superior gluteal
  2. inferior gluteal
  3. internal pudendal
These arteries are branches of the internal iliac artery which lies inside the pelvis.

Nerves of the Gluteal Region

The nerves of the gluteal region are branches of the lumbosacral plexus. Again, as with the arteries, the nerves arise in the pelvis and pass through the greater sciatic foramen to reach the gluteal region. The piriformis muscle separates the greater sciatic foramen into superior and inferior parts. The branches either come through the superior part or the inferior part. The nerves are:
  1. superior gluteal (the only branch that comes through the superior part). The longest branch of this nerve supplies the tensor fasciae latae muscle.
  2. inferior gluteal
  3. sciatic
  4. posterior femoral cutaneous
  5. pudendal
  6. nerve to quadratus femoris and inferior gemellus muscles
  7. nerve to obturator internus and superior gemellus muscles


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cadaver This is copyrighted©1999 by Wesley Norman, PhD