The Thigh and the LEG

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From the head of the femur (trochanter) to the outside of the knee runs a band of tendon called the ilio-tibial band. It makes a straight line from the head of the thigh bone to the outside of the knee.

The rectus femoris muscle makes a slightly bulging straight line from just below the iliac crest to the knee cap. On either side of the latter is a twin mass of muscles. That of the outside (vastus externus) makes one mass with it, and slightly overhangs the ilio-tibial band outside. That of the inside (vastus internus) bulges only in the lower third of the thigh, and overhangs the knee on the inside.

Behind and inside of this is the groove of the thigh occupied by the sartorius muscle, passing from the ilium above to the back of the knee below.

Behind the groove is the heavy mass of the adductors, reaching two-thirds of the way down the thigh.

Behind groove and adductors, around the back of the thigh and to the ilio-tibial band outside, is the mass of the ham-string muscles whose tendons are found on either side of the knee at the back. It is a dual mass of muscle, dividing above the diamond-shaped popliteal space at the back of the knee, whose lower corner is formed by the gastrocnemius muscle, similarly divided.

Of the same width as the end of the thigh bone is the head of the tibia, or shin bone. Immediately below the head the shaft narrows on both sides, but on the outside and a little to the rear is the head of the fibula (which corresponds with the ulna of the forearm) more than filling out the narrowing on that side.

The ridge of the shin bone descends straight down the front of the leg, a sharp edge toward the outside, a flat surface toward the inside, which at the ankle bends in to become the inner ankle bone.

The outer bone of the foreleg (fibula) soon overlaid

Sceches Achilles Heel

by a gracefully bulging muscular mass, emerges again to become the outer ankle bone.

On the back of the leg are two muscles. Beneath is the low, flat and broad soleus (sole fish) muscle; on top of it is the double-bellied calf muscle (gastrocnemius, frog's belly), covering its upper half, but crossing the knee joint above and helping to make the two knobs there. These two muscles unite to form the tendon of Achilles at the heel.



Leg—Tibia and Fibula (outside).

Muscles, Front View:


Tensor fasciae latae




Rectus femoris


Vastus externus


Vastus internus


Tibialis anticus


Peroneus longus


Extensor digitorum longus

Tensor Fasciae Latae (tensor fasciae femoris): From crest of ilium, front end, to fascia lata, or ilio-tibial band. Action: Tenses fascia and rotates inward thigh.

Sartorius: From spine to ilium in front to tibia inside. Action: Flexes, abducts and rotates inward thigh.

Rectus Femoris: From anterior inferior spine of ilium to common tendon of patella. Action: Extends leg.

Vastus Externus: From outer side of femur to common tendon of patella. Action: Extends and rotates outward leg.

Vastus Internus: From inner side of femur to common tendon of patella. Action: Extends and rotates inward leg.

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