Vastus medialis muscle

Last revised by William Howden on 24 Mar 2023

The vastus medialis muscle is one of the four quadriceps muscles in the anterior compartment of the thigh. The others are the rectus femoris, the vastus intermedius, and the vastus lateralis.


Gross anatomy

Vastus medialis is described as having two components based on the origin/insertion and orientation of the muscle fibers 4,5:

  • vastus medialis longus (VML)

  • vastus medialis obliquus (VMO)

    • fibers originate from the adductor tubercle and intermusclar septum to insert on the proximal third of the medial patella

    • acts as a medial patellar stabilizer

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: anterior thigh muscles (Gray's illustration)
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  • Figure 2: thigh muscles: cross sectional anatomy
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  • Figure 3: femoral arteries (Gray's illustration)
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