Greater sciatic foramen
The pelvis showing the greater sciatic foramen in red
Latinforamen ischiadicum majus
Anatomical terminology

The greater sciatic foramen is an opening (foramen) in the posterior human pelvis. It is formed by the sacrotuberous and sacrospinous ligaments. The piriformis muscle passes through the foramen and occupies most of its volume. The greater sciatic foramen is wider in women than in men.


It is bounded as follows:


The piriformis, which exits the pelvis through the foramen, occupies most of its volume.

The following structures also exit the pelvis through the greater sciatic foramen:[2]

Location Name Vessels Nerves
Above the Piriformis suprapiriform foramen[3] superior gluteal vessels superior gluteal nerve
Below the Piriformis infrapiriform foramen[3] inferior gluteal vessels
internal pudendal vessels
inferior gluteal nerve
pudendal nerve
sciatic nerve
posterior femoral cutaneous nerve
Nerve to obturator internus
Nerve to quadratus femoris

See also


Public domain This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 309 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  1. ^ a b c Chaitow, Leon; DeLany, Judith (January 1, 2011), Chaitow, Leon; DeLany, Judith (eds.), "Chapter 11 - The pelvis", Clinical Application of Neuromuscular Techniques, Volume 2 (Second Edition), Oxford: Churchill Livingstone, pp. 299–389, doi:10.1016/b978-0-443-06815-7.00011-5, ISBN 978-0-443-06815-7, retrieved February 6, 2021
  2. ^ "Greater Sciatic Foramen - Wheeless' Textbook of Orthopaedics". Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Yokochi, Chihiro; Rohen, Johannes W. (2006). Color Atlas of Anatomy: A Photographic Study of the Human Body. Hagerstown, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 482. ISBN 978-0-7817-9013-0.