Quadriceps Femoris

Written by Roxanne Salkeld

Last updated January 17, 2023 • 7 Revisions •

The quadriceps femoris is a muscle complex in the anterior compartment of the thigh. It consists of four individual muscles – vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, vastus medialis and the rectus femoris.

  • Attachments: 
    • Arises from the anterior superior iliac spine, the ilium, and the femur.
    • The fibres converge into a thick tendon, which inserts onto the base of the patella.
    • It inserts onto the patella via the quadriceps femoris tendon.
    • The patella is then attached to the tibial tuberosity by the patella ligament.
  • Actions: Extension of the knee joint. Contributes to flexion at the hip joint through the action of the rectus femoris.
  • Innervation: Femoral nerve.
  • Blood Supply: Femoral artery.

Fig 1
The muscles of the anterior thigh.

Fig 2
The femur, tibia and patella of the knee joint.

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