Abdominal external oblique muscle

Abdominal external oblique muscle
Illu trunk muscles.jpg
Muscles of the trunk.
Gray392.png
The obliquus externus abdominis
Details
OriginRibs 5-12
InsertionIliac crest, Pubic tubercle, Linea alba
NerveThoracoabdominal nerves (T7-11) and Subcostal nerve (T12)
ActionsContralateral rotation of torso
Identifiers
LatinMusculus obliquus externus abdominis
TAA04.5.01.008
FMA13335
Anatomical terms of muscle

The external oblique muscle (of the abdomen) (also external abdominal oblique muscle) is the largest and the most superficial (outermost) of the three flat muscles of the lateral anterior abdomen.

Structure

The external oblique is situated on the lateral and anterior parts of the abdomen. It is broad, thin, and irregularly quadrilateral, its muscular portion occupying the side, its aponeurosis the anterior wall of the abdomen. In most humans (especially females), the oblique is not visible, due to subcutaneous fat deposits and the small size of the muscle.

It arises from eight fleshy digitations, each from the external surfaces and inferior borders of the fifth to twelfth ribs. These digitations are arranged in an oblique line which runs inferiorly and anteriorly, with the upper digitations being attached close to the cartilages of the corresponding ribs, the lowest to the apex of the cartilage of the last rib, the intermediate ones to the ribs at some distance from their cartilages.

The five superior serrations increase in size from above downward, and are received between corresponding processes of the serratus anterior muscle; the three lower ones diminish in size from above downward and receive between them corresponding processes from the latissimus dorsi. From these attachments the fleshy fibers proceed in various directions.

Those from the lowest ribs pass nearly vertically downward, and are inserted into the anterior half of the outer lip of the iliac crest; the middle and upper fibers, directed downward (inferiorly) and forward (anteriorly), become aponeurotic at approximately the midclavicular line. This aponeurosis formed from fibres from either side of the external oblique decussates at the linea alba.

The aponeurosis of the external oblique muscle forms the inguinal ligament. The muscle also contributes to the inguinal canal.

Just deep to the external oblique is the internal oblique muscle. These muscles are in the deepest layer of the abdominal wall.

Nerve supply

The external oblique muscle is supplied by ventral branches of the lower six thoracoabdominal nerves and the subcostal nerve on each side.

Blood supply

The cranial portion of the muscle is supplied by the lower intercostal arteries, whereas the caudal portion is supplied by a branches of either the deep circumflex iliac artery or the iliolumbar artery.

Other Languages