Palpation of the Long Adductors

Muscle bellies of adductor longus, gracilis and adductor magnus can be palpated at the medial side of the thigh. They take origin from the pubic tubercle (adductor longus) and the ischiopubic ramus (gracilis and adductor magnus).

The structure that becomes visible during passive abduction of the hip is the adductor longus. Its origin at the pubic tubercle can be palpated as a strong cord .

Posterior to the adductor longus and slightly more lateral the gracilis can be palpated. As this is a bi-articular structure it becomes more stretched when the knee is extended during a passive hip abduction. The broad and flat tendon on the ischiopubic ramus is therefore felt to press against the palpating finger when the knee of the abducted leg is gradually brought into extension.

The origin of the adductor magnus is posterior to the graCilis and anterior to the origin of the hamstrings on the ischial tuberosity. The muscle is only palpable over a small extent and therefore difficult to examine.


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