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Obturator externus

The obturator externus (Latin: musculus obturatorius externus) is a triangular-shaped muscle that is located deep within the pelvis. It stretches between the hip bone and femur. The obturator externus provides lateral (external) rotation of the thigh. Therefore, it is classified as the lateral rotator.

Obturator externus
OriginExternal surface of obturator membrane, boundaries of obturator foramen
Insertion Trochanteric fossa
Action Thigh external rotation, stabilization of hip joint
InnervationObturator nerve (L2 - L4)
Blood supply Obturator and medial circumflex femoral arteries



The obturator externus muscle originates from the external surface of the obturator membrane and the boundaries of the obturator foramen.



The obturator externus inserts on the trochanteric fossa of the femur.



The obturator externus muscle provides external (lateral) rotation of the thigh at the hip joint. Also, it stabilizes the hip joint.



The obturator externus is innervated by the obturator nerve (L2 - L4) that arises from the lumbar plexus.


Blood supply

The obturator externus muscle receives arterial blood supply from the medial circumflex femoral and obturator arteries. The first artery is a branch of the deep femoral artery, while the latter arises from the internal iliac artery.