The gluteal region is an anatomical area located posteriorly to the pelvic girdle, at the proximal end of the femur. The muscles in this region move the lower limb at the hip joint.
The superficial muscles in the gluteal region consist of the three glutei and the tensor fascia lata.
Gluteus Maximus
The gluteus maximus is the largest of the gluteal muscles. It is also the most superficial, producing the shape of the buttocks.
Gluteus Medius
The gluteus medius muscle is fan-shaped and lies between to the gluteus maximus and the minimus. It is similar in shape and function to the gluteus minimus.
Gluteus Minimus
The gluteus minimus is the deepest and smallest of the superficial gluteal muscles. It is similar is shape and function to the gluteus medius.
Fascia is a sheet or band of fibrous tissue lying deep to the skin. It lines, invests, and separates structures within the body. There are three main types of fascia:
• Superficial fascia – blends with the reticular layer beneath the dermis.
• Deep fascia – envelopes muscles, bones, and neurovascular structures.
• Visceral fascia – provides membranous investments that suspend organs within their cavities.
The iliotibial tract (sometimes known as the iliotibial band or IT band) is a longitudinal thickening of the fascia lata, which is strengthened superoposteriorly by fibres from the gluteus maximus.
The tensor fascia lata is a gluteal muscle that acts as a flexor, abductor, and internal rotator of the hip.
The muscle originates from the iliac crest, and descends inferiorly to the superolateral thigh.
The fascia lata arises from multiple superior attachments around the pelvis and hip region:
• Posterior – sacrum and coccyx.
• Lateral – iliac crest.
• Anterior – inguinal ligament, superior pubic rami.
• Medial – inferior ischiopubic rami, ischial tuberosity, sacrotuberous ligament.
Tensor Fascia Lata
Tensor fasciae lata is a small superficial muscle which lies towards the anterior edge of the iliac crest. It functions to tighten the fascia lata, and so abducts and medially rotates the lower limb.
The piriformis muscle is a key landmark in the gluteal region. It is the most superior of the deep muscles. Lateral rotation and abduction.
Obturator Internus
The obturator internus forms the lateral walls of the pelvic cavity. In some texts, the obturator internus and the gemelli muscles are considered as one muscle – the triceps coxae.
The Gemelli – Superior and Inferior
The gemelli are two narrow and triangular muscles. They are separated by the obturator internus tendon.
Quadratus Femoris
The quadratus femoris is a flat, square-shaped muscle. It is the most inferior of the deep gluteal muscles, located below the gemelli and obturator internus.
Tibialis Anterior
The tibialis anterior muscle is located alongside the lateral surface of the tibia.
It is the strongest dorsiflexor of the foot. Dorsiflexion and inversion of the foot.
The extensor digitorum longus lies lateral and deep to the tibialis anterior. The tendons of the EDL can be palpated on the dorsal surface of the foot. Extension of the lateral four toes, and dorsiflexion of the foot.
The extensor hallucis longus is located deep to the EDL and TA. Extension of the great toe and dorsiflexion of the foot.

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