Author: Cleo Rowe-Setz


The sartorius muscle is the longest muscle in body (human). It is a long, thin, strap-like muscle which is found in the upper (thigh) region of the lower limb. The origin of the sartorius muscle is the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) as well as the region just below the ASIS. Sartorius then runs inferiorly towards the insertion point which is the medial surface of the proximal tibia (found inferomedially to the tibial tuberosity). The sartorius muscle abducts, flexes and laterally rotates the femur at the hip as well as being involved in flexing the leg at the knee joint .[1] An everyday activity in which this muscle is used would be an action such as kicking a ball with the inside of one’s foot. Another everyday action which displays all the actions the sartorius carries out is checking the bottom of one’s foot to see if one has stepped on gum. The supplying nerve for the sartorius muscle is the femoral nerve (L2-L3). The blood supply comes from the muscular branches of the femoral artery.

Interactions and relations to other Muscles

The sartorius lies superficially to vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis and adductor longus muscles. The sartorius muscle ends in a tendon which joins the tendons of the gracilis and semitendinosus muscles. Together these form the pes anserinus (name given to the insertion of these conjoined tendons). Sartorius carries out its flexion of the hip with: iliacus, rectus femoris, psoas major and pectineus. Flexion of the knee is carried out with: semimembranosus, popliteus, semitendinosus, biceps femoris, gracilis and gastrocnemius. Lateral rotation of the hip is obtained by the sartorius muscle with help from the gluteus maximus, internal and external obturator, piriformis muscle, quadratus femoris, and gemellus superior and inferior. The last action sartorius carries out is abduction of the hip. This action is carried out with assistance from the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and the tensor fasciae latae muscle (ref 2 & 4). The sartorius antagonizes the movement of knee extension which is performed by the following muscles: rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, medialis and intermedius.

Relevance to Occupational Therapy

The sartorius is relevant to occupational therapy because when dealing with paralyzed/disabled patients, an O.T would need to understand, in particular, the action namely abduction, flexion and lateral rotation of the femur at the hip as well as being involved in flexing the leg at the knee joint, innervation and blood supply of the sartorius (as well as all the muscles in the limbs). This is because in knowing this information an O.T can design the correct rehabilitation and therapy, allowing it to be the most beneficial. An OT would perform an activity analysis which will assist them in identifying the movements required to perform the client’s chosen activity. If the client played soccer leisurely the OT could use this as a form of exercise in a graded manner in order to strengthen the muscle optimally.[2]

Links to online interactive material

"the sartorius muscle" -
"lowerlimb - thigh anatomy" -
Grants Atlas Of Anatomy (book)
"lower limb"


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