Obturator externus muscle

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Obturator externus muscle
The obturator externus and nearby muscles
The Obturator externus. Anterior view
Latin musculus obturatorius externus
Gray's subject #128 477
Origin obturator foramen and obturatory membrane
Insertion    medial aspect of greater trochanter of femur
Artery: obturator artery
Nerve: posterior branch of obturator nerve (third and fourth lumbar nerves)
Action: adduct thigh, rotate laterally thigh

The obturator externus muscle is a flat, triangular muscle, which covers the outer surface of the anterior wall of the pelvis.

Origin and insertion

It arises from the margin of bone immediately around the medial side of the obturator foramen, viz., from the rami of the pubis, and the inferior ramus of the ischium; it also arises from the medial two-thirds of the outer surface of the obturator membrane, and from the tendinous arch which completes the canal for the passage of the obturator vessels and nerves.

The fibers springing from the pubic arch extend on to the inner surface of the bone, where they obtain a narrow origin between the margin of the foramen and the attachment of the obturator membrane.

The fibers converge and pass backward, lateralward, and upward, and end in a tendon which runs across the back of the neck of the femur and lower part of the capsule of the hipjoint and is inserted into the trochanteric fossa of the femur.


The obturator vessels lie between the muscle and the obturator membrane; the anterior branch of the obturator nerve reaches the thigh by passing in front of the muscle, and the posterior branch by piercing it.

Additional images

External links

This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.

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