World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Obturator nerve

Article Id: WHEBN0003956449
Reproduction Date:

Title: Obturator nerve  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Human leg, Anterior branch of obturator nerve, Adductor magnus muscle, Adductor longus muscle, Lumbar plexus
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Obturator nerve

Obturator nerve
Structures surrounding right hip-joint. (Obturator nerve labeled at upper right.)
Nerves of the right lower extremity. Front view.
Latin nervus obturatorius
From Lumbar plexus L2-L4
To posterior branch of obturator nerve, anterior branch of obturator nerve
Innervates medial compartment of thigh
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The obturator nerve in human anatomy arises from the ventral divisions of the second, third, and fourth lumbar nerves in the lumbar plexus; the branch from the third is the largest, while that from the second is often very small.


  • Path 1
  • Innervation 2
  • Branches 3
  • Additional images 4
  • External links 5
  • References 6


It descends through the fibers of the psoas major, and emerges from its medial border near the brim of the pelvis; it then passes behind the common iliac arteries, and on the lateral side of the internal iliac artery and ureter, and runs along the lateral wall of the lesser pelvis, above and in front of the obturator vessels, to the upper part of the obturator foramen.

Here it enters the thigh, through the obturator canal, and divides into an anterior and a posterior branch, which are separated at first by some of the fibers of the obturator externus, and lower down by the adductor brevis.[1]


The obturator nerve is responsible for the sensory innervation of the skin of the medial aspect of the thigh.

It is also responsible for the motor innervation of the adductor muscles of the lower extremity (external obturator.[2] adductor longus, adductor brevis, adductor magnus, gracilis) and the pectineus (inconstant). It is, notably, not responsible for the innervation of the obturator internus, despite the similarity in name.[3]


Additional images

External links

  • Obturator_nerve at the Duke University Health System's Orthopedics program
  • Anatomy photo:12:st-0602 at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center
  • Cross section image: pelvis/pelvis-female-17 - Plastination Laboratory at the Medical University of Vienna
  • posteriorabdomen at The Anatomy Lesson by Wesley Norman (Georgetown University) (posteriorabdmus&nerves)
  • cutaneous field at


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

  1. ^
  2. ^ Moore, K.L., & Agur, A.M. (2007). Essential Clinical Anatomy: Third Edition. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 336. ISBN 978-0-7817-6274-8
  3. ^ Moore, K.L., & Agur, A.M. (2007). Essential Clinical Anatomy: Third Edition. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 345. ISBN 978-0-7817-6274-8
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.