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Gluteus medius
Position of gluteus medius muscle (shown in red). Posterior view.
The gluteus medius and nearby muscles.
OriginGluteal surface of ilium, under gluteus maximus
InsertionGreater trochanter of the femur
ArterySuperior gluteal artery
NerveSuperior gluteal nerve (L4, L5, S1 nerve roots)
ActionsAbduction of the hip; preventing adduction of the hip. Medial/internal rotation and flexion of the hip (anterior fibers). Extension and lateral/external rotation of the hip (posterior fibers)
Latinmusculus glutaeus medius
Anatomical terms of muscle

The gluteus medius, one of the three gluteal muscles, is a broad, thick, radiating muscle. It is situated on the outer surface of the pelvis.

Its posterior third is covered by the gluteus maximus, its anterior two-thirds by the gluteal aponeurosis, which separates it from the superficial fascia and integument.


The gluteus medius muscle starts, or "originates", on the outer surface of the ilium between the iliac crest and the posterior gluteal line above, and the anterior gluteal line below; the gluteus medius also originates from the gluteal aponeurosis that covers its outer surface.

The fibers of the muscle converge into a strong flattened tendon that inserts on the lateral surface of the greater trochanter. More specifically, the muscle's tendon inserts into an oblique ridge that runs downward and forward on the lateral surface of the greater trochanter.


A bursa separates the tendon of the muscle from the surface of the trochanter over which it glides.


The posterior border may be more or less closely united to the piriformis, or some of the fibers end on its tendon.

The posterior fibres of gluteus medius contract to produce hip extension, lateral rotation and abduction. During gait, the posterior fibres help to decelerate internal rotation of the femur at the end of swing phase.


Clinical significance

Dysfunction of the gluteus medius or the superior gluteal nerve can potentially be indicated by a positive Trendelenburg's sign.

Additional images

See also


Public domain This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 474 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  1. ^ Schünke, M., Schulte, E., Schumacher, U., Ross, L. M., & Lamperti, E. D. (2006). Thieme atlas of anatomy. Stuttgart: Thieme. page 424