Tensor fasciae latae
The tensor fasciae latae is a tiny muscle, inferior to the iliotibial band, which is an elongated strip of fascia. The muscle originates in the ilium and the anterior iliac crest, and goes into the lateral tibia condyle through the iliotibial band. It is innervated by the superior gluteal nerve and performs the functions of hip flexion and abduction. This function helps to maintain one foot ahead of the other to facilitate walking. It also provides lateral stability to the knee. The muscle performs the role of a supplement ligament laterally across the joint, and synergizes with the minimus, medius, and upper maximum fibers. The arterial supply to this muscle is through a branch arising from the profunda femoris, which is known as the femoral circumflex artery. The tensor fasciae latae also helps to stabilize the pelvis on the top of the femur bone in the erect posture. This muscle is used considerably during physical activities such as skiing or horse riding. An imbalance of the pelvic area may occur if this muscle is shortened or strained.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Tensor fasciae latae