Greater sciatic foramen

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Greater sciatic foramen
Greater sciatic foramen.png
Articulations of pelvis, anterior view, with greater sciatic foramen (labeled in red) and its boundaries.
Piriformis muscle.PNG
Muscles of the gluteal and posterior femoral regions, piriformis labeled
Latin foramen ischiadicum majus
Gray's p.309
sciatic foramen
TA A03.6.03.008
FMA 17031
Anatomical terminology

The greater sciatic foramen is a major foramen or fossa of the human pelvis. It is formed by the sacrotuberous and sacrospinous ligaments.


It is bounded as follows:


The piriformis, which exits the pelvis through the Greater sciatic foramen, occupies most of the foramen.

The following structures also make their exit from the pelvis through the greater sciatic foramen:

Location Name Vessels Nerves
Above the Piriformis suprapiriform foramen[1] superior gluteal vessels superior gluteal nerve
Below the Piriformis infrapiriform foramen[1] inferior gluteal vessels
internal pudendal vessels
inferior gluteal nerve
pudendal nerve
sciatic nerve
posterior femoral cutaneous nerve
Nerve to obturator internus
Nerve to quadratus femoris

The foramen contains:[citation needed]

  • 7 nerves:
    • Sciatic Nerve:
    • Superior Gluteal Nerve:
    • Inferior Gluteal Nerve:
    • Pudendal Nerve:
    • Posterior Femoral Cutaneous Nerve
    • Nerve to Quadratus Femoris
    • Nerve to Obturator Internus
  • 3 Vessel Sets:
    • Superior Gluteal Artery & Vein
    • Inferior Gluteal Artery & vein
    • Internal Pudendal Artery & vein
  • 1 Muscle:
    • Piriformis[2]

The structures contained within the foramen are represented by a mnemnoic.

Additional images[edit]

See also[edit]

This article uses anatomical terminology; for an overview, see anatomical terminology.


This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.

  1. ^ a b Yokochi, Chihiro; Rohen, Johannes W.. Color Atlas of Anatomy: A Photographic Study of the Human Body. Hagerstown, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 482. ISBN 0-7817-9013-1. 
  2. ^

External links[edit]