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Thigh medial compartment muscles


The medial compartment of the thigh is a subset of the embryonic anterior musculature of the lower limb. During development the lower limb rotates the embryonic anterior muscles (limb flexors) to a posterior position. As a result the lower limb has a different orientation than the upper limb. This large, powerful muscle group of the medial thigh shares much in common. The six muscles in the group are all capable of adducting the hip joint. They share common attachments on the linea aspera of the femur and the anterior aspect of the pubis. With one exception, the pectineus, they all receive innervation from the obturator nerve, which arises from the anterior divisions of the lumbar plexus. The gracilis muscle differs from the others in the group by crossing the knee joint in addition to the hip. As it crosses the knee to insert onto the tibia, it passes in pulley-like fashion around the medial condyle of the femur. This increases its mechanical advantage as a flexor of the knee.


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