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Upper part of right femur viewed from behind and above, showing greater and lesser trochanter
Latin Trochanter
FMA 82513
Anatomical terminology

A trochanter is a tubercle of the femur near its joint with the hip bone. In humans and most mammals, the trochanters serve as important muscle attachment sites. Humans are known to have three trochanters, though the anatomic "normal" includes only the greater and lesser trochanters. (The third trochanter is not present in all specimens.)



"Trokhos" (Greek) = "wheel", with reference to the spherical femoral head which was first named "trokhanter". Later usage came to include the femoral neck. [1]


In human anatomy, the trochanter is a part of the femur. It can refer to:

Other animals

See also

Related Research Articles

Human leg lower extremity or limb of the human body (foot, lower leg, thigh and hip)

The human leg, in the general word sense, is the entire lower limb of the human body, including the foot, thigh and even the hip or gluteal region. However, the definition in human anatomy refers only to the section of the lower limb extending from the knee to the ankle, also known as the crus. Legs are used for standing, and all forms of locomotion including recreational such as dancing, and constitute a significant portion of a person's mass. Female legs generally have greater hip anteversion and tibiofemoral angles, but shorter femur and tibial lengths than those in males.

Femur The longest bone in human body.

The femur, or thigh bone, is the proximal bone of the hindlimb in tetrapod vertebrates. The head of the femur articulates with the acetabulum in the pelvic bone forming the hip joint, while the distal part of the femur articulates with the tibia and kneecap, forming the knee joint. By most measures the two femurs are the strongest bones of the body, and in humans, the longest.

Coxa vara hip deformity in which the femoral neck leans forward resulting in a decrease in the angle between the neck and shaft

Coxa vara is a deformity of the hip, whereby the angle between the head and the shaft of the femur is reduced to less than 120 degrees. This results in the leg being shortened and the development of a limp. It may be congenital and is commonly caused by injury, such as a fracture. It can also occur when the bone tissue in the neck of the femur is softer than normal, causing it to bend under the weight of the body. This may either be congenital or the result of a bone disorder. The most common cause of coxa vara is either congenital or developmental. Other common causes include metabolic bone diseases, post-Perthes deformity, osteomyelitis, and post traumatic. Shepherd's Crook deformity is a severe form of coxa vara where the proximal femur is severely deformed with a reduction in the neck shaft angle beyond 90 degrees. It is most commonly a sequela of osteogenesis imperfecta, Pagets disease, osteomyelitis, tumour and tumour-like conditions.

Greater trochanter

The greater trochanter of the femur is a large, irregular, quadrilateral eminence and a part of the skeletal system.

Internal obturator muscle One of six small hip muscles in the lateral rotator group

The internal obturator muscle or obturator internus muscle originates on the medial surface of the obturator membrane, the ischium near the membrane, and the rim of the pubis.

Hip anatomical region

In vertebrate anatomy, hip refers to either an anatomical region or a joint.

Iliacus muscle

The iliacus is a flat, triangular muscle which fills the iliac fossa. It forms the lateral portion of iliopsoas, providing flexion of the thigh and lower limb at the acetabulofemoral joint.

Vastus lateralis muscle Human muscle

The vastus lateralis, also called the ''vastus externus'' is the largest and most powerful part of the quadriceps femoris, a muscle in the thigh. Together with other muscles of the quadriceps group, it serves to extend the knee joint, moving the lower leg forward. It arises from a series of flat, broad tendons attached to the femur, and attaches to the outer border of the patella. It ultimately joins with the other muscles that make up the quadriceps in the quadriceps tendon, which travels over the knee to connect to the tibia. The vastus lateralis is the recommended site for intramuscular injection in infants less than 7 months old and those unable to walk, with loss of muscular tone.

Iliopsoas Muscle

The iliopsoas refers to the joined psoas and the iliacus muscles. The two muscles are separate in the abdomen, but usually merge in the thigh. They are usually given the common name iliopsoas. The iliopsoas muscle joins to the femur at the lesser trochanter. It acts as the strongest flexor of the hip.

The linea aspera is a ridge of roughened surface on the posterior surface of the shaft of the femur, to which are attached muscles and intermuscular septum.

Lesser trochanter

The lesser trochanter of the femur is a conical eminence, which varies in size in different species.

Upper extremity of femur

The upper extremity, proximal extremity or superior epiphysis of the femur is the part of the femur closest to the pelvic bone and the trunk. It contains the following structures:

The body of femur, is the almost cylindrical, long part of the femur. It is a little broader above than in the center, broadest and somewhat flattened from before backward below. It is slightly arched, so as to be convex in front, and concave behind, where it is strengthened by a prominent longitudinal ridge, the linea aspera.

Intertrochanteric crest

The intertrochanteric crest is a bony ridge located on the posterior side of the head of the femur, stretching obliquely downward and medially from the summit of the greater trochanter to the lesser trochanter.

Trochanteric fossa

In mammals including humans, the medial surface of the greater trochanter has at its base a deep depression bounded posteriorly by the intertrochanteric crest, called the trochanteric fossa. This fossa is the point of insertion of four muscles. Moving from the inferior-most to the superior-most, they are: the tendon of the obturator externus muscle, the obturator internus, the superior gemellus and inferior gemellus. The width and depth of the trochanteric fossa varies taxonomically.

Intertrochanteric line

The intertrochanteric line is a line located on the anterior side of the proximal end of the femur.

Third trochanter

In human anatomy, the third trochanter is a bony projection occasionally present on the proximal femur near the superior border of the gluteal tuberosity. When present, it is oblong, rounded, or conical in shape and sometimes continuous with the gluteal ridge. It generally occurs bilaterally without significant side to side dimorphism. A structure of minor importance in humans, the incidence of the third trochanter varies from 17–72% between ethnic groups and it is frequently reported as more common in females than in males. Structures analogous to the third trochanter are present in other mammals, including some primates. It is called the third trochanter in reference to the greater and lesser trochanters that are always present on the femur.

Femoral neck

The femoral neck is a flattened pyramidal process of bone, connecting the femoral head with the femoral shaft, and forming with the latter a wide angle opening medialward.

Pelvis Lower part of the trunk of the human body between the abdomen and the thighs

The pelvis is either the lower part of the trunk of the human body between the abdomen and the thighs or the skeleton embedded in it.

Gemelli muscles Wikimedia disambiguation page

The gemelli muscles are the inferior gemellus muscle and the superior gemellus muscle, two small accessory fasciculi to the tendon of the internal obturator muscle. The gemelli muscles belong to the lateral rotator group of six muscles of the hip that rotate the femur in the hip joint.


  1. O'Rahilly, Ronan, M.D.; Fabiola Müller, Dr. rer. nat., Stanley Carpenter, Ph.D., and Rand Swenson, D.C., M.D., Ph.D. (2004). "Etymology of Abdominal Visceral Terms". Basic Human Anatomy: A Regional Study of Human Structure. Rand Swenson, site ed. Dartmouth Medical School.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)