At a glance......
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Gluteus Minimus Muscles that are used by the chimpanzee to push the leg back (hip extensors) have shifted in modern humans in relation to the hip joint so that they now act as abductors to balance the trunk on the weight-bearing leg during walking. Part of a third climbing muscle (gluteus maximus) also assists in abduction as well as in maintaining the knee in extension during weight-bearing
gluteus minimus (GMin) is important for locomotion and mobility. Anatomically, these muscles provide lateral stability of the hip joint and pelvis, as they help to control the contralateral pelvic position during unilateral stance in the frontal plane.
- Gluteus minimus attaches between the inferior and anterior gluteal lines (referred to commonly as the “origin” or proximal attachment). The gluteal lines are bumpy lines on the outer surface of the pelvis. There are three of them, inferior, anterior, and posterior.
- The other end of the muscle (referred to as the “insertion” or distal attachment) attaches onto the front of the greater trochanter of the femur. The greater trochanter is a large bony protrusion or bumps felt on the outside of the hip. You can see the area of attachment at the blue arrow in the image to the right.
Origin: Dorsal ilium between inferior and anterior gluteal lines; also from edge of greater sciatic notch
Insertion: Anterior surface of greater trochanter
Innervation: Superior gluteal nerve (L4, L5, S1)
Arterial Supply: Superior gluteal artery
Functions of Gluteus Minimus Muscles
The gluteus medius is a hip abductor and medial rotator; the gluteus minimus is also a hip abductor, as well as both a hip internal and external rotator. Both muscles play a critical role in pelvic stabilization during gait. Patients with pain or weakness from GMT may exhibit a Trendelenburg gait deviation, with the dropping of the pelvis to the contralateral side during the stance phase of gait.
- The gluteus medius and gluteus minimus abduct the thigh, when the limb is extended, and are principally called into action in supporting the body on one limb, in conjunction with the tensor fasciæ latæ.
- Their anterior fibers also flex the hip, and by drawing the greater trochanter forward, rotate the thigh inward, in which action they are also assisted by the Tensor fascia lata.
- Additionally, with the hip flexed, the gluteus medius and minimus internally rotate the thigh. With the hip extended, the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus externally rotate the thigh.[rx]
- The attachment to the superior capsule of the hip may also serve to retract the capsule away from the joint during motion. This mechanism may prevent capsular impingement similar to the role of the articularis genus in the knee.[rx]