Short external rotator muscles : Hip

Short external rotators of hip in general originate from sacrum and ischium and insert on and around greater trochanter of femur.

Mnemonic: P GO GO Q

From proximal, the short external rotators of hip are:

  1. Piriformis
  2. Gemellus superior
  3. Obturator internus
  4. Gemellus inferior
  5. Obturator externus
  6. Quadratus femoris
short external rotators hip
Beth ohara~commonswiki, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
MuscleProximal attachmentDistal attachmentInnervation
PiriformisSacrum – anterior aspect
Sacrotuberous ligament
Greater trochanter – superior aspectVentral rami S1, S2
Gemellus superiorIschial spineGreater trochanter – medial aspectNerve to obturator internus (L5-S2)
Obturator internusInternal surface of obturator membraneGreater trochanter – medial aspectSame as above
Gemellus inferiorIschial tuberosityGreater trochanter – medial aspectNerve to quadratus femoris (L4-S1)
Obturator externusExternal surface of obturator membraneGreater trochanter – medial aspect (trochanteric fossa)Posterior branch of obturator nerve (L3, L4), i.e., lumbar plexus
Quadratus femorisIschial tuberosity – lateral borderIntertrochanteric crest – Quadrate tubercleNerve to quadratus femoris (L4-S1)
2 Gemelli along with Obturator internus forms triceps coxae or conjoint tendon.
quadrate tubercle

Mnemonic: GSOI 512, IQ 451

Gemellus Superior – nerve to Obturator Internus (L5, S1, S2)

Gemellus Inferior – nerve to Quadratus femoris (L4, L5, S1)

Points of Surgical significance

1. Sciatic nerve emerges below piriformis and courses superficial to other short external rotators.

2. Branches of MFCA (Medial Femoral Circumflex Artery) emerge above and below Quadratus femoris.

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