Superior Gluteal Nerve (L4 – S1) and Inferior Gluteal Nerve (L5 – S2)

Superior Gluteal Nerve (L4-S1)

Innervates the gluteus medius and minimus muscles which act to stabilize the pelvis, abduct the thigh, and medially rotate the hip.

Clinical Pearl: Weakness of the gluteus medius muscle can be assessed on exam by the Trendelenberg sign in which the patient is asked to stand on one leg. If the patient is asked (for example) to stand on their right leg and their left hip falls down this would indicate weakness of the right gluteus medius muscle.

Inferior Gluteal Nerve (L5-S2)

Innervates the gluteas maximus and tensor fascia lata muscles which acts to extend and laterally rotate the hip. These muscles also acts to stabilize the knee in the extended position via the iliotibial tract.

Clinical Pearl: The iliotibial band can become inflamed and cause lateral knee pain – a common condition among runners.

Gluteal Muscles Gluteal Muscles2Trendelenburg sign

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