Imaging Pelvic Floor Disorders

Part of the series Medical Radiology pp 1-29

The Anatomy of the Pelvic Floor and Sphincters

  • Jaap StokerAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam
  • , Christian WallnerAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy and Embryology Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam

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The pelvic floor supports the visceral organs, is crucial in maintaining continence, facilitates micturition and evacuation and in women forms part of the birth canal. This multifunctional unit is a complex of muscles, fasciae and ligaments that have numerous interconnections and connections to bony structures, organs and the fibroelastic network within fat-containing spaces. A detailed appreciation of the pelvic floor is essential to understand normal and abnormal function. The embryology of the pelvic floor is included to help explain certain anatomical features.