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Quadriceps Femoris Muscle (Left)
Muscular System

Quadriceps Femoris Muscle (Left)

Musculus quadriceps femoris

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The quadriceps femoris muscle is one of the muscles of the anterior compartment of the thigh. It is a combined term for four muscles, these are the:

- rectus femoris;

- vastus lateralis;

- vastus medialis;

- vastus intermedius.

The tendons of these four muscles converge to a single tendon of quadriceps femoris. The fibers of this tendon travel superficial to the patella, where they become continuous with the patellar ligament, which inserts onto the tibial tuberosity.

Overall, the quadriceps femoris muscle extends the leg at the knee joint.

A recent cadaveric study has identified a fifth muscle that contributes to the quadriceps femoris muscle (Grob et al., 2016). The so-called tensor vastus intermedius was identified between vastus lateralis and vastus intermedius in 22 out of 26 cases. This muscle originates from the anteroinferior aspect of the greater trochanter of the femur, distal to the intertrochanteric line. The muscle belly, like the other muscles of the quadriceps, becomes aponeurotic distally, and inserts into the medial aspect of the base of the patella. It is hypothesized that the tensor vastus intermedius plays a role in controlling motion of the patella by counteracting the forces of the vastus medialis muscle. Additionally, the tensor vastus medialis may exert tension on the aponeurosis of the vastus intermedius (Grob et al., 2016; Franchi, 2020).

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Franchi, T. (2020) 'Tensor vastus intermedius: a review of its discovery, morphology and clinical importance', Folia Morphologica, (Preprint).

Grob, K., Ackland, T., Kuster, M. S., Manestar, M. and Filgueira, L. (2016) 'A newly discovered muscle: The tensor of the vastus intermedius', Clin Anat, 29(2), pp. 256-63.

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Quadriceps Femoris Muscle

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It is contained within the tendon of the quadriceps femoris muscle at the front of the knee and is separated from the skin by the pre-patellar bursa.

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