Superior rectus

The superior rectus (also superior rectus muscle, superior rectus extraocular muscle, latin: musculus rectus superior) is one of the six extra-ocular muscles that are in control of eye movements. Actions of the superior rectus result in moving the visual gaze up and in.


The superior rectus originates from the upper part of the common tendinous ring, above and lateral to the optic canal. Some fibres of the superior rectus also arise from the dural sheath of the optic nerve.


The superior rectus inserts into the upper part of the sclera, approximately 8 mm from the corneal limbus.


The main actions provided by the superior rectus are elevation and adduction of the eyeball, and medial rotation of the eyeball. To obtain the upward movement, the muscle must function in synergy with the inferior oblique.


The superior rectus is innervated by the superior division of the oculomotor nerve (CN III).

Blood supply

The blood supply to the superior rectus is provided by the ophthalmic artery and indirectly from its supraorbital branch.