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Obturator foramen

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Title: Obturator foramen  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Inferior pubic ramus, Obturator artery, Ischium, Pelvis, Human leg
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Obturator foramen

Obturator foramen
Pelvis. Obturator foramen is 7.
Symphysis pubis exposed by a coronal section. Obturator canal labelled at center.
Latin foramen obturatum
Anatomical terms of bone

The obturator foramen (Latin foramen obturatum) is the large opening created by the ischium and pubis bones of the pelvis through which nerves and blood vessels pass.


  • Structure 1
    • Variation 1.1
  • Function 2
  • See also 3
  • Additional images 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


It is bounded by a thin, uneven margin, to which a strong membrane is attached, and presents, superiorly, a deep groove, the obturator groove, which runs from the pelvis obliquely medialward and downward.

This groove is converted into the obturator canal by a ligamentous band, a specialized part of the obturator membrane, attached to two tubercles:


Reflecting the overall sex differences between male and female pelvises, the obturator foramina are round in the male and oval in the female.

Additionally, unilateral pelvis hypoplasia can cause differences in size between the obturator foramina, and there are even rare reports of individual pelvises featuring a double obturator foramen in one of the hip bones.[1]


Through the canal the obturator artery, obturator vein and obturator nerve pass out of the pelvis.

See also

Additional images


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

  1. ^ Apostolos Karantanas, Konstantina Velesiotou, and Evagelos Sakellariou (2002). "Double Obturator Foramen". Larissa General Hospital, Greece. 

External links

  • Anatomy photo:17:st-0205 at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center - "Major Joints of the Lower Extremity: hip and sacrum (anterior view)"
  • Atlas image: male_urethrogram at the University of Michigan Health System - "Pelvis & Perineum: Male Urethrogram"
  • Photo at
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