Obturator nerve: anatomy

Basic, Basic Sciences

3 big nerves of the lower limb

1. Femoral-anterior compartment

2. Obturator-medial compartment

3. Sciatic-posterior compartment

The Obturator is:

• Derived from L3 and L4

• Deep in the obturator canal after descending from the medial psoas muscle

• Primarily a motor nerve, very little sensory contribution (see picture below)

• Once leaving this canal, 2 branches are formed (see picture below):

A) Anterior: 

i. articulate branch to the hip

ii. Anterior adductor thigh muscles

iii. Cutaneous branch to the lower branch medial thigh(variable)

B) Posterior: 

i. Articulate branch to the knee(variable)

ii. Deep adductor muscles


Answered correctly


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Answered correctly


Year asked

Dalia Saha, MD