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Nerve: Superior gluteal nerve
Nerves of the right lower extremity. Posterior view.
Plan of sacral and pudendal plexuses. (Superior gluteal labeled at upper left.)
Latin nervus gluteus superior
Gray's subject #213 659
Innervates    gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, tensor fasciæ latæ
From sacral plexus (L4-S1)

The superior gluteal nerve is a nerve that originates in the pelvis and supplies the gluteus medius, the gluteus minimus, and the tensor fasciae latae muscles.[1]



The superior gluteal nerve originates in the sacral plexus. It arises from the dorsal divisions of the fourth and fifth lumbar and first sacral nerves.[2] It leaves the pelvis through the greater sciatic foramen above the piriformis, accompanied by the superior gluteal artery and the superior gluteal vein.[3] It then divides into a superior and an inferior branch.

The superior gluteal nerve and vessels travel above the piriformis muscle through the greater sciatic foramen; the inferior gluteal nerve and vessels travel below the muscle.[1]


In normal gait, the small gluteal muscles on the stance side can stabilize the pelvis in the coronal plane. Weakness or paralysis of these muscles caused by a damaged superior gluteal nerve can result in a weak abduction in the affected hip joint. This gait disturbance is known as Trendelenburg gait. In a positive Trendelenburg's sign the pelvis sags toward the normal unsupported side (the swing leg). The opposite, when the pelvis is elevated on the swing side, is known as Duchenne limp. Bilateral loss of the small gluteal muscles results in a waddling gait. [3]

See also


  1. ^ a b Platzer (2004), p 420
  2. ^ Thieme Atlas of Anatomy (2006), p 471
  3. ^ a b Thieme Atlas of Anatomy (2006), p 476


  • Platzer, Werner (2004). Color Atlas of Human Anatomy, Vol. 1: Locomotor System (5th ed.). Thieme. ISBN 3-13-533305-1.  
  • Thieme Atlas of Anatomy: General Anatomy and Musculoskeletal System. Thieme. 2006. ISBN 1-58890-419-9.  

This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained within it may be outdated.

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