Gluteus Medius Muscle Anatomy

Overview
Origin Posterior surface of the ilium (between anterior and posterior gluteal lines)
Gluteal aponeurosis
Insertion Greater trochanter of femur (lateral and superoposterior facet)
Action Hip abduction
Hip medial rotation (anterior fibers)
Hip lateral rotation (posterior fibers)
Stabilises pelvis when standing on one leg
Nerve Superior gluteal nerve (L4, L5, S1 nerve roots)
Artery Superior gluteal artery

Location & Overview

The gluteus medius is one of the three gluteal muscles. The other two gluteal muscles are: the gluteus maximus and gluteus minimus. It is located on the lateral aspect of the upper portion of the buttocks (just below the iliac crest). The posterior third of the gluteus medius is covered by the gluteus maximus. It has a fan like shape with the proximal portion of the muscle being wide and then narrowing as it approaches its tendon insertion[1]. It is the primary hip abductor. The gluteus minimus and tensor fascia latae also assist in hip abduction[2].

gluteus medius muscle

Here we can see the gluteus medius muscle in isolation. It is located on the posterior of the pelvis.

Origin & Insertion

The gluteus medius originates on the posterior surface of the ilium. Specifically, between the anterior and posterior gluteal lines. The gluteal aponeurosis covers the surface of the gluteus medius and also serves as an additional origin point. The gluteus medius then inserts on the greater trochanter of femur. Specifically, the lateral and superoposterior facet[3].

origin of the gluteus medius muscle marked in red

Here we can see the origin of the gluteus medius muscle marked in red on the posterior surface of the ilium (between the anterior and posterior gluteal lines).

insertion of the gluteus medius muscle marked in blue

Here we can see the insertion of the gluteus medius muscle marked in blue on the greater trochanter of femur (lateral and superoposterior facet).

Actions

The primary action of the gluteus medius muscle is hip abduction. It also helps to stabilise the pelvis when standing on one leg (e.g during walking, running, hopping). The anterior fibers are also able to assist in hip medial rotation. Whereas the posterior fibers are able to assist in lateral rotation (but only when the hip is extended)[4].

Innervation

The gluteus medius muscle is innervated by the superior gluteal nerve (L4, L5, S1 nerve roots)[5].

Blood Supply

Blood is supplied to the gluteus medius via the superior gluteal artery[6].

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Gluteus Medius Flashcards

References

References
1, 3 Moore KL, Agur AMR, Dalley AF. Clinically Oriented Anatomy. 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincot Williams & Wilkins; 2017.
2, 4 Shah A, Bordoni B. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Gluteus Medius Muscle. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557509/
5 Lung K, Lui F. Anatomy, Abdomen and Pelvis, Superior Gluteal Nerve. 2021 Aug 11. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan–. PMID: 30571029.
6 Ebraheim NA, Olexa TA, Xu R, Georgiadis G, Yeasting RA. The quantitative anatomy of the superior gluteal artery and its location. Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 1998 Jun;27(6):427-31. PMID: 9652885.