A newly discovered membrane at the origin of the proximal tendinous complex of the rectus femoris

Alfonso Rodríguez Baeza, Sandra Mechó, I. Iriarte, R. Pruna, R. Pérez-Andrés

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The rectus femoris (RF) forms the anterior portion of the quadriceps muscle group. It has a proximal tendinous complex (PTC) which is constituted by a direct tendon (DT), an indirect tendon (IT), and a variable third head. Direct and indirect tendons finally converge into a common tendon (CT). All the PTC shows a medially sloping in its proximal insertion.We investigated several anatomical specimens and discovered a new component: a membrane connecting the CT with the anterior superior iliac spine. Such membrane constitutes a new origin of the PTC. The aim of this study was to clarify whether this membrane was an anatomical variation of the PTC or a constant structure and to describe its morphology and trajectory. Material and methods: We dissected 42 cadaveric lower limbs and examined the architecture of the PTC. We paid special attention to the morphology and interaction patterns between the tendons and the membrane. Results: We demonstrated that the membrane is a constant component of the PTC. It has a lateral to medial trajectory and is in relation to the common tendon, the DT, and IT, which present a medial slope. This suggests that the membrane has an stabilizer role for the PTC, acting as a corrector of the inclined vector of the complex. Conclusion: The RF injuries are frequent in football. The newly discovered membrane is a constant component of the PTC and its integrity should be included in the algorithm to diagnose injuries.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnatomia Clinica
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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