Lateral rectus

The lateral rectus (also lateral rectus muscle, lateral rectus extraocular muscle, latin: musculus rectus lateralis) is one of the six extra-ocular muscles that are in control of eye movements. The lateral rectus acts to move the visual gaze laterally.


The lateral rectus originates from the lateral part of the common tendinous ring and bridges of the superior orbital fissure. Some fibers of the lateral rectus also arise from a spine on the greater wing of the sphenoid bone.


The insertion site of the lateral rectus is the lateral surface of the sclera, approximately 7 mm behind the limbus.


The main function of the lateral rectus is to turn the eyeball laterally.


The lateral rectus is innervated by the abducens nerve (CN VI).

Blood supply

The lateral rectus receives blood supply from the ophthalmic artery.