Original Editor - Eric Henderson

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[1]Gracilis muscle


The gracilis is the most outermost muscle on the inside of the thigh, next to the adductor musculature. However, due to it's attachment to the proximal tibia the gracilis is able to provide more function than it's neighboring muscles.


The gracilis muscle originates at the ischiopubic ramus.[2]


The gracilis muscle inserts on the tibia at the Pes anserinus.[2] The pes anserinus is also the attachment site of the Sartorius and Semitendinosus. The muscles attached here can be remembered by the acronym sargent or "SGT" for Sartorius Gracilis semiTendinosus.


The gracilis muscles is innervated by the anterior branch of the obturator nerve. The anterior branch of the obturator nerve also innervates the adductor longus, and sometimes adductor brevis.[2]


The gracilis muscle receives blood supply from the medial circumflex femoral artery.[2]


Due to it's attachment on the tibia, the gracilis flexes the knee, adducts the thigh, and medially rotate the tibia on the femur.[3]

Clinical relevance

The gracilis muscle is commonly used as a donor muscle flap in microsurgery. Because of the muscle type II blood type the muscle can be commonly placed in several sites on the body for reconstructive purposes. The gracilis can be used in fascial reconstructive surgery as well as to repair hand muscles.


The gracilis muscle can be tested by placing the patient in seated with the therapists hand placed on the patients distal tibia, Have the patient adduct, medially rotate, and flex the hip, as well as flex the knee.


Injury or surgery to the gracilis can be rehabilitated through a standard progression of isometrics -> isotonics -> tendon loading to improve strength during functional activities.


  1. Gray, Henry. Anatomy of the Human Body. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1918;, 2000.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Marieb EN, Hoehn K. Human anatomy & physiology. 10th ed. Boston, Ma: Pearson; 2016.
  3. Gracilis [Internet]. [cited 2018 May 15]. Available from: