Linea aspera
The linea aspera is a ridge of roughened surface on the posterior aspect of the femur
The femur , or thigh bone, is the most proximal bone of the leg in tetrapod vertebrates capable of walking or jumping, such as most land mammals, birds, many reptiles such as lizards, and amphibians such as frogs. In vertebrates with four legs such as dogs and horses, the femur is found only in...

, to which are attached muscle
Muscle is a contractile tissue of animals and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells. Muscle cells contain contractile filaments that move past each other and change the size of the cell. They are classified as skeletal, cardiac, or smooth muscles. Their function is to...

s and intermuscular septum
In anatomy, a septum is a wall, dividing a cavity or structure into smaller ones.-In human anatomy:...


Its margins diverge above and below.

The linea aspera is a prominent longitudinal ridge or crest, on the middle third of the bone, presenting a medial and a lateral lip, and a narrow rough, intermediate line. It is an important insertion point for the adductors and the intermuscular septa that divides the thigh into three compartments. The tension generated by muscle attached to the bones is responsible for the formation of the ridges.


Above, the linea aspera is prolonged by three ridges.
  • The lateral ridge is very rough, and runs almost vertically upward to the base of the greater trochanter. It is termed the gluteal tuberosity, and gives attachment to part of the Glutæus maximus: its upper part is often elongated into a roughened crest, on which a more or less well-marked, rounded tubercle, the third trochanter
    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...

    , is occasionally developed.

  • The intermediate ridge or pectineal line
    Pectineal line
    On the posterior surface of the femur, the intermediate ridge or pectineal line is continued to the base of the lesser trochanter and gives attachment to the pectineus muscle....

     is continued to the base of the lesser trochanter
    Lesser trochanter
    The lesser trochanter of the femur is a conical eminence, which varies in size in different subjects-Anatomy:It projects from the lower and back part of the base of the femur neck.From its apex three well-marked borders extend:...

     and gives attachment to the Pectineus;

  • the medial ridge is lost in the intertrochanteric line; between the intermediate and medial ridges a portion of the Iliacus is inserted.


Below, the linea aspera is prolonged into two ridges, enclosing between them a triangular area, the popliteal surface, upon which the popliteal artery
Popliteal artery
In human anatomy, the popliteal artery is defined as the extension of the "superficial" femoral artery after passing through the adductor canal and adductor hiatus above the knee...

  • Of these two ridges, the lateral is the more prominent, and descends to the summit of the lateral condyle
    Lateral condyle
    Lateral condyle can refer to:* Lateral condyle of tibia* Lateral condyle of femur* Lateral condyle on metatarsal...


  • The medial is less marked, especially at its upper part, where it is crossed by the femoral artery
    Femoral artery
    The femoral artery is a general term comprising a few large arteries in the thigh. They begin at the inguinal ligament and end just above the knee at adductor canal or Hunter's canal traversing the extent of the femur bone....

    . It ends below at the summit of the medial condyle
    Medial condyle
    Medial condyle can refer to:* Medial condyle of tibia* Medial condyle of femur...

    , in a small tubercle, the adductor tubercle
    Adductor tubercle
    The medial lip of the linea aspera ends below at the summit of the medial condyle, in a small tubercle, the adductor tubercle, which affords insertion to the tendon of the vertical fibers of Adductor magnus.-External links:*...

    , which affords insertion to the tendon of the Adductor magnus.


  • From the medial lip of the linea aspera and its prolongations above and below, the Vastus medialis
    Vastus medialis
    The vastus medialis , often called the 'teardrop' muscle, is a medially located muscle of the quadriceps.-Function:The vasti appear to act largely in a co-ordinated manner throughout the control of knee extension...


  • From the lateral lip and its upward prolongation, the Vastus lateralis takes origin.

  • The Adductor magnus is inserted into the linea aspera, and to its lateral prolongation above, and its medial prolongation below.

  • Between the Vastus lateralis and the Adductor magnus two muscles are attached:
    • the Gluteus maximus
      Gluteus maximus muscle
      The gluteus maximus is the largest and most superficial of the three gluteal muscles...

       inserted above,
    • and the short head of the Biceps femoris arising below.

  • Between the Adductor magnus and the Vastus medialis four muscles are inserted:
    • the Iliacus and Pectineus above;
    • the Adductor brevis and Adductor longus below.

The linea aspera is perforated a little below its center by the nutrient canal, which is directed obliquely upward.

External links

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