Skip to main content

Unfortunately we don't fully support your browser. If you have the option to, please upgrade to a newer version or use Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Safari 14 or newer. If you are unable to, and need support, please send us your feedback.

Elsevier
Publish with us
Superior Rectus Muscle
Muscular System

Superior Rectus Muscle

Musculus rectus superior

Read more

Quick Facts

Origin: Common tendinous ring.

Insertion: Upper surface of sclera.

Action: Elevates, adducts, and medially rotates eyeball.

Innervation: Superior branch of oculomotor nerve (CN III).

Arterial Supply: Ophthalmic and supraorbital artery.

Complete Anatomy
The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform
Try it for Free

Origin

The superior rectus muscle arises from the upper part of the common tendinous ring, superolateral to the optic canal. Additionally, some fibers of the superior rectus muscle arise from the dural sheath surrounding the optic nerve.

Insertion

From the common tendinous ring, the superior rectus muscle runs anterolaterally to inset obliquely on the upper part of the sclera.

Key Features & Anatomical Relations

Superior to the superior rectus muscle is the muscle belly of levator palpebrae superioris and inferior is the periorbital fat and the superior surface of the ocular globe.

Actions

The superior rectus muscle is primarily involved in elevating the eyeball around the transverse (horizontal) axis, i.e., moves the pupil superiorly. It does so primarily with the eye abducted. It is also involved in medial rotation (adduction) around the vertical axis and medial rotation (intorsion) around the anteroposterior axis, especially when the eye is adducted.

Additionally, a check ligament extends from superior rectus muscle to levator palpebrae superioris muscle, which ensures elevation of the superior eyelid when the pupil is elevated.

List of Clinical Correlates

- Diplopia

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Superior Rectus Muscle

ScienceDirect image

It passes above the superior rectus muscle as a thin flat muscle and becomes broad as it ends anteriorly in an aponeurosis, which splits into three lamellae.

Explore on ScienceDirect(opens in new tab/window)

Complete Anatomy

The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform

Complete Anatomy