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What Is the Sartorius Muscle?

Apply a cold compress to injured area to help reduce swelling and pain.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2014
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Sartorius muscles are the longest muscles in the human body. Located in the thigh of each leg, each sartorius muscle is part of the femoral triangle and plays a major role in the ability to move the leg freely in various directions and angles. Damage to this muscle can make certain types of movement impossible, and may lead to a loss of the ability to walk or stand for an extended period of time.

Somewhat thin in appearance, each sartorius muscle begins near the base of the spine and runs down the leg to the medial side of the knee, then progresses on to the proximal area of the tibia. While thin and easily longer than any other single muscle in the body, the sartorius muscle is extremely strong. When maintained properly, the muscle makes it easier to walk and run for longer periods, aids in the rotation of the hips, and allows the leg to be bent in a manner that makes it possible to examine the ball of the foot. Because of the location of the muscle, it also supports the function of the knee joint.

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Since the sartorius muscle is used frequently throughout the day, there is always the chance of developing some sort of soreness or pain at some point along the muscle. When sartorius muscle pain does develop, it can usually be managed by applying a deep heating ointment or cream to the surface of the leg, in the general area of the soreness. This simple treatment usually takes care of short-term pain caused by over exertion, and the individual is able to function without pain the following day.

In the event of a more aggressive sartorius muscle injury, a normal range of motion is usually impossible to achieve. When some type of severe sartorius muscle strain has taken place, the best remedy is often applying an ice pack immediately to minimize swelling. Staying off the leg for a few days will also help the strain to heal. In order to ease the pain during the recovery period, many doctors will recommend the use of a heating pad to soothe the irritated muscles.

Should the injury be due to an accident of some type, the most effective treatment may involve surgery. This is sometimes the case in situations where the fibers of the sartorius muscle have been severed. Once the surgery is complete, the patient may be provided with medication to alleviate pain as well as to prevent the development of an infection while the wound is healing. In some cases, physical therapy may be necessary in order to help the muscle regain strength and function efficiently once the healing process has completed.

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