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Superior Gluteal Artery

(See also: inferior gluteal artery)


  • major blood supply to gluteus medius and minimus;
  • superior gluteal artery and nerve leave the pelvis above piriformis;
  • emerges above piriformis, after passing thru greater sciatic foramen;
  • once pass the notch, it divides into:
    • superficial branch supplying maximus;
    • deep branch
      • enters deep surface of medius in intermuscular plane between medius, gluteus minimus, & tensor fasciae lata;
      • this attachment tethers muscle limiting amount of upward retraction of muscle and prevents one from reaching the iliac crest;
  • arterial branches reach as far as the anterior superior iliac spine.
  • terminal branches anastomose w/ ascending branch of LFCA ;


  • superior gluteal artery appears to be vulnerable to a shearing force because of acute angulation of vessel as it passes out of pelvis;
  • superior gluteal artery may be severed by sharp fascia of piriformis, even w/ a minimally displaced frx;
  • superior gluteal artery is at risk during operative procedures on greater sciatic foramen