Lumbar Spine, Hip and Knee LO3

3. Describe the neurovascular supply of the gluteal region.

The superior and inferior gluteal neurovasculature supply the gluteal muscles. These neurovascular structures originate in the pelvic cavity and travel through the greater sciatic foramen to supply the gluteal muscles of the posterior gluteal region. The superior gluteal neurovasculature exits the greater sciatic foramen superior to piriformis m., travels between the gluteus medius and minimus mm., and sends branches to supply these muscles. The inferior gluteal neurovasculature exits the greater sciatic foramen inferior to piriformis m. with the sciatic n. and supplies the gluteus maximus m.


The superior and inferior vessels are branches of the internal iliac a. and v., and the nerves are branches of the lumbosacral plexus that forms on the anterior surface of the sacrum within the pelvic cavity.

The superior and inferior gluteal nn. and vessels are named based on their relationship to the piriformis m. as they travel through the greater sciatic foramen; superior gluteal n. and vessels exit superior to the piriformis m., inferior gluteal n. and vessels exit inferior to the piriformis m. The superior gluteal n. and vessels supply the gluteus medius and minimus mm., while the inferior gluteal n. and vessels supply the gluteus maximus m. The piriformis m. and lateral rotator mm. are supplied by nerves derived from the lumbosacral plexus. The blood supply to the piriformis m. and lateral rotator mm. is primarily from inferior gluteal a., with additional supply from superior gluteal for the piriformis m.