Muscle Anatomy

rectus femoris

The rectus femoris muscle is situated in the anterior compartment of the thigh. It is one of the quadriceps muscles, contributing to the overall musculature of the front of the thigh. It is the central and largest muscle of the quadriceps group.

Originating from the anterior inferior iliac spine and the acetabulum of the hip bone, the rectus femoris takes its starting point from the bony structures of the pelvis.

The muscle inserts into the patellar tendon and, subsequently, into the base of the patella (kneecap). From there, the patellar tendon continues and attaches to the tibial tuberosity. This insertion site establishes a connection with the patella and the tibia.

Functionally, the rectus femoris is a powerful knee extensor. It plays a key role in straightening the knee joint, as seen in activities like standing up from a seated position, walking, and running. Additionally, the muscle is involved in hip flexion, lifting the thigh toward the torso. The rectus femoris is integral to the coordinated movements of the lower limb and is particularly active during various phases of the gait cycle.