The sartorius muscle: anatomic considerations for reconstructive surgeons

Surg Radiol Anat. 1998;20(5):307-10. doi: 10.1007/BF01630610.


To evaluate the sartorius muscle as an alternative donor site for functional transfer, the neurovascular anatomy of the muscle was studied in 42 human sartorius muscle specimens (22 fresh and 20 preserved). Eleven adult fresh cadavers were injected with a mixture of lead oxide, gelatin and water (200 ml/kg) through the common carotid and femoral arteries. The sartorius muscle with its neurovascular pedicles was dissected, and radiographed. The sartorius muscle was also dissected out in 10 preserved cadavers. The neurovascular anatomy was thus analyzed in 42 sartorius muscles. The results show that each nerve supplying the sartorius muscle is accompanied by one vascular pedicle, forming a neurovascular hilum. Within the muscle, most of the nerves and vessels divide early, and their branches run parallel to each other and to the muscle fibers. Many of the vessels anastomose with each other to form an intricate vascular network. We conclude that it is possible to subdivide the muscle into functional units to harvest a segmental muscle flap with a neurovascular pedicle for transfer.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cadaver
  • Coloring Agents
  • Dissection
  • Female
  • Femoral Artery / anatomy & histology
  • Femoral Nerve / anatomy & histology
  • Gelatin
  • Humans
  • Iliac Artery / anatomy & histology
  • Lead
  • Male
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / ultrastructure
  • Muscle, Skeletal / anatomy & histology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / blood supply
  • Muscle, Skeletal / diagnostic imaging
  • Muscle, Skeletal / innervation
  • Muscle, Skeletal / surgery
  • Oxides
  • Radiography
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures
  • Surgical Flaps
  • Thigh / innervation


  • Coloring Agents
  • Oxides
  • Lead
  • lead oxide
  • Gelatin