Updated: 10/19/2016

Obturator nerve

Review Topic
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  • Sensory  
    • medial aspect of the thigh
    • articular branches to hip and knee joints                                                    
  • Motor  
    • obturator externus  
    • adductor longus  
    • adductor magnus 
    • adductor brevis  
    • gracilis  
Course of Obturator Nerve
  • Origin
    • obturator nerve comes from L2, L3, and L4
  • Course
    • substance of psoas
      • the obturator decends through the substance of the psoas and exits medially near pelvic brim
    • behind common iliac vessels
      • passes behind common iliac vessels, lateral to the hypogastric vessels
    • anterior to obturator vessels
      • runs along lateral wall of lesser pelvis, anterior to the obturator vessels
    • enters obturator foramen
      • enters the superior aspect of the obturator foramen
      • it then enters the thigh through the obturator canal
  • Terminal brances
    • anterior branch
      • innervates
        • adductor longus
        • adductor brevis
        • gracilis
    • posterior branch
      • innervates
        • adductor magnus
        • adductor brevis
        • obturator externus
      • these branches are separated by the obturator externus and adductor brevis
Relevent Approaches
  • Hip Medial Approach 
  • Modified Stoppa Approach 
Clinical Conditions
  • Obturator nerve injury
    • can be an iatrogenic injury from retraction during the modified Stoppa approach

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