Anatomy of proximal attachment, course, and innervation of hamstring muscles: a pictorial essay


Hamstring injuries are very common in sports medicine. Knowing their anatomy, morphology, innervation, and function is important to provide a proper diagnosis, treatment as well as appropriate prevention strategies. In this pictorial essay, based on anatomical dissection, the detailed anatomy of muscle–tendon complex is reviewed, including their proximal attachment, muscle course, and innervation. To illustrate hamstrings’ role in the rotational control of the tibia, the essay also includes the analysis of their biomechanical function.

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We thank Maciej Śmiarowski ( who provided photographic documentation. Dr. Robert Śmigielski wishes to dedicate the article to his mentor—Dr. Bernhard Segesser. The project was co-funded by the Luxembourg Institute of Research in Orthopaedics, Sports Medicine and Science (LIROMS).


The project was co-funded by the Luxembourg Institute of Research in Orthopaedics, Sports Medicine and Science (LIROMS).

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Correspondence to Karolina Stępień.

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Stępień, K., Śmigielski, R., Mouton, C. et al. Anatomy of proximal attachment, course, and innervation of hamstring muscles: a pictorial essay. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 27, 673–684 (2019).

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  • Hamstring
  • Hamstring anatomy
  • Hamstring injury
  • Muscle
  • Biceps femoris
  • Semimembranosus
  • Semitendinosus
  • Posterior thigh
  • Sciatic nerve