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Thigh muscles

Synonym: muscles of the thigh
German: Oberschenkelmuskulatur

1 Definition

The thigh muscles are defined as the total of all skeletal muscles on the thigh which wrap around the thigh bone (femur).

2 Division

In the strict sense, the extensor group (ventral) and the flexor group (dorsal) count among the thigh muscles. The group denominations refer to the muscle functions in the knee joint. In a looser sense, also the adductors belong to the thigh muscles. However, some authors attribute them to the hip muscles, since they mainly have an effect on the hip joint and not - with the exception of the gracilis muscle - on the knee joint.

2.1 Thigh extensors

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The quadriceps femoris muscle with its four muscle heads counts among the thigh extensors:

The compartment where you can find the extensors is called extensors' compartment of the thigh (Compartimentum femoris anterius). The sartorius muscle can also be found in the extensors' compartment, but it effects a flexion of the hip and knee.

2.2 Thigh flexors

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The thigh flexors are also called ischiocrural muscles. They comprise:

The compartment where you can find the flexors is called flexors' compartment of the thigh (Compartimentum femoris posterius).

2.3 Thigh adductors

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The muscle group of thigh adductors comprises:

The compartment where you can find the adductors is called adductors' compartment of the thigh (Compartimentum femoris mediale).

3 Function

The thigh extensors and flexors effect on two joints. The extensors extend the knee joint and flex the hip joint, while the flexors flex the knee joint and extend the hip joint. The adductors effect an adduction of the thigh in the hip joint.

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