|Origin||Anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS)|
Anterior aspect of the iliac crest
|Insertion||Fascia of the iliotibial tract|
The iliotibial tract inserts onto the iliotibial tubercle (also known as Gerdy’s tubercle)
|Action||Stabilisation of the hip and knee|
Hip internal rotation
Weak hip flexion
Knee flexion past 30 degrees
Lateral rotation at the tibia
|Nerve||Superior gluteal nerve (L4, L5, S1)|
|Artery||Deep branch of the superior gluteal artery|
Location & Overview
The tensor fasciae latae (TFL) is a muscle located in the proximal and anterolateral aspect of the thigh (front and outer part of the thigh). It sits between the deep and superficial fibers of the iliotibial tract, also known as the iliotibial band (ITB). The TFL spans from the anterior portion of the iliac crest to the superior portion of the tibia, it connects to the tibia via the iliotibial tract. The TFL belongs to the muscles of the gluteal region. Other muscles of this region are the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus  .
The tensor fascia latae muscle is important for stabilising the pelvis, especially during activities such as standing, walking, running, jumping, and other lower body movements. It functions in conjunction with the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus muscles. The TFL muscle is connected to the fascia of the iliotibial tract, which in turn provides a link to the gluteus maximus muscle. This is because the gluteus maximus muscle also attaches to the iliotibial tract .
Origin & Insertion
The tensor fasciae latae originates from the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) and the anterior aspect of the iliac crest. As it passes down the thigh, it attaches to the deep and superficial fascia of the iliotibial band. Due to this, the insertion point for the tensor fasciae latae is the iliotibial band. Once the tensor fasciae latae inserts into the iliotibial band, the iliotibial band continues down the leg, where it eventually crosses the knee joint and inserts onto the iliotibial tubercle on the tibia (also known as Gerdy’s tubercle)   .
The TFL muscle assists several muscle groups in stabilising and moving the hip and knee joints. For instance, it works together with the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus during internal rotation and abduction of the hip. Moreover, both the gluteus maximus and TFL are connected to the iliotibial tract via an aponeurosis, enabling the TFL to also help the gluteus maximus in hip abduction. Besides abduction, the TFL can assist with hip flexion as well, although it is relatively weak compared to the primary hip flexors, such as the rectus femoris and iliopsoas muscle group  .
The TFL connects into the iliotibial tract via an aponeurosis. The iliotibial tract then inserts onto the iliotibial tubercle (also known as Gerdy’s tubercle). Due to this, contraction of the TFL can contribute to flexion of the knee joint (because the iliotibial tract crosses the knee joint). However, the TFL can only contribute to knee flexion beyond approximately 30 degrees. This connection of the TFL to the tibia via the iliotibial tract is how it can assist in stabilisation of the knee joint. The TFL can also act on the iliotibial tract to assist in lateral rotation of the tibia  .
A function of the TFL is to assist in walking. When the TFL contracts it weakly pulls the ilium inferiorly (hip abduction). This contraction then assists in lifting the hip on the opposite side. This is particularly useful when walking because during the swing phase of gait, it allows the leg to swing through without hitting the ground  .
The TFL is innervated by the superior gluteal nerve (L4, L5, S1) which is a branch of the sacral plexus .
Blood is supplied to the TFL via the deep branch of the superior gluteal artery .
Want some flashcards to help you remember this information? Then click the link below:
Tensor Fasciae Latae Flashcards
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|↑1, ↑4, ↑7, ↑9, ↑11, ↑13, ↑14||Trammell AP, Nahian A, Pilson H. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Tensor Fasciae Latae Muscle. [Updated 2022 Aug 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499870/|
|↑2, ↑3, ↑6, ↑8, ↑10, ↑12||Moore KL, Agur AMR, Dalley AF. Clinically Oriented Anatomy. 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincot Williams & Wilkins; 2017|
|↑5||Hyland S, Graefe SB, Varacallo M. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Iliotibial Band (Tract) [Updated 2022 Aug 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537097/|