Vastus Intermedius


Vastus Intermedius is located centrally, underneath Rectus femoris[1] in the anterior compartment of the thigh and on each side of it: Vastus medialis and Vastus Lateralis respectively[2]. It is one of the four muscles that form the quadriceps femoris muscle. Tensor of Vastus Intermedius is a new muscle that is part of the Quadriceps[3].

Vastus intermedius.jpg


Originating from the upper two-thirds of anterior and lateral surfaces of the femur and the intermuscular septum[1].


Inserting via the Quadriceps femoris tendon to form the deep part of the tendon and then inserts into the lateral margin of the patella[4].


Together with other muscles that are part of the Quadriceps femoris, it facilitates knee extension[5][6].

Blood supply

The descending branch of the lateral circumference femoral artery supplies this muscle[1].


The Vastus Intermedius muscle is innervated by a branch of the Femoral nerve, originating from lumbar nerve 2, 3, and 4 nerve roots[4][1].


Assessment of the quadriceps muscles individually cannot be done; therefore, the test for knee extensor integrity is used to assess for it's power. See: Rectus femoris.


The Vastus Intermedius is difficult to palpate. It is the least superficial muscle in the thigh's anterior compartment muscles; thus, it cannot be isolated for stretching and/or massage.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Drake, RL, Vogl, W, Mitchell, AW, Gray, H. Gray's anatomy for Students 2nd ed.  Philadelphia : Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier, 2010
  2. Grob K, Manestar M, Filgueira L, Kuster MS, Gilbey H, Ackland T. The interaction between the vastus medialis and vastus intermedius and its influence on the extensor apparatus of the knee joint. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy. 2018 Mar 1;26(3):727-38.
  3. Veeramani R, Gnanasekaran D. Morphometric study of tensor of vastus intermedius in South Indian population. Anatomy & cell biology. 2017 Mar 1;50(1):7-11.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Miller, A, Heckert, KD, Davis, BA.The 3-Minute Musculoskeletal & Peripheral Nerve Exam. New York: Demos Medical Publishing. 2009; p.116-117
  5. Moore, KL, Dalley, AF, Agur, AM. Clinically oriented anatomy. 7th ed. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2014
  6. Hislop, HJ, Montgomery,J.  Daniels and Worthingham's Muscle Testing: Techniques of Manual Examination. 8th ed.  Missouri: Saunders Elsevier, 2007; p201-204