Saturday, March 20, 2010

Linea Aspera

The linea aspera (rough line) is a bony ridge along the posterior shaft of the middle third of the femur. It provides an attachment site for the thigh adductors and extensors.

Proximally the linea aspera branches laterally to the gluteal ridge. Medially, it divides into the spiral line, which courses towards the lesser trochanter, and the pectineal line, which courses lateral and inferior to the lesser trochanter.

The gluteal ridge is the site of attachment for the gluteus maximus muscle. The spiral line is the site of origin of the vastus medialis muscle, while the pectineal line is the site of attachment of the pectineus muscle.

The linea aspera, when prominent, may appear as a pair of parallel lines on frontal radiographs, and apparent thickening of the posterior cortex of the femur.


Pitt MJ. Radiology of the femoral linea aspera-pilaster complex: the track sign. Radiology. 1982 Jan;142(1):66.

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