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Elements of the Abdominal Wall – Overview

by Craig Canby, PhD
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    00:00 Now we want to understand the elements of the abdominal wall. There are skeletal elements as well as muscular elements. This slide highlights the skeletal elements that define the abdominal wall.

    00:13 And we will start in the anterior midline at the level of the xiphoid process. So that is one of the skeletal components. We will work our way along the rib cage and the costal cartilages that we see along here constitute the costal margin. So that also represents skeletal components of the abdominal wall. We will then encounter the tip of the eleventh rib and then the twelfth rib will also help to define the skeletal elements. We can see the twelfth rib here posteriorly in greater detail. We'll also have the lumbar vertebrae. L1 down to L5. The intervening intervertebral disc will help constitute the wall. We have the ilia. Right and left. And it would be the area above this particular line, standing above. Those help to define the abdominal wall.

    01:18 So it would be that wing like extensions of the ilia. We also have the superior aspect of your sacrum that we see along here but not below. Now we're getting into the pelvic cavity and these then will be the skeletal components. You'll note that we have gaps between these skeletal elements.

    01:40 We have a gap between the twelfth rib down to the wing of the ilium. And that is a bilateral gap.

    01:49 We will fill that gap in with muscular components to the wall. We also have a gap here anteriorly and laterally down toward the pelvis. We will fill that large gap also with muscles. That then brings us to the muscle elements of the wall where we'll have posterior muscles and we'll have anterolateral muscles arranged as flat muscles and vertical muscles. Our posterior wall muscles are shown in through this area and also on the opposite side. These posterior wall muscles quickly include the quadratus lumborum, the psoas major, this smaller muscle which you'll see the belly here.

    02:43 And then a longer tendon. This is the psoas minor. This one may be absent. And then we also have the iliacus as seen in through here. For our anterolateral muscles, again we'll divide those into flat muscles and vertical muscles. We can see our flat muscle arrange in here. We'll have three pairs of flat muscles. This represents the external abdominal oblique. Over here, the external abdominal oblique has been cut along this edge and along its aponeurosis here.

    03:23 We also have vertically oriented musculature. This is your rectus abdominis. These areas here represent your tendinous intersection. Linea semilunaris, lateral margin of the rectus represented here. And your linea alba is represented down the midline through the umbilical region.

    03:44 The last vertically oriented muscle which may be absent is the pyramidalis. And it is bilateral.

    03:52 So you have a right one and a left one.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Elements of the Abdominal Wall – Overview by Craig Canby, PhD is from the course Abdominal Wall.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Quadratus lumborum
    2. External oblique muscle
    3. Internal oblique muscle
    4. Transversus abdominis
    5. Rectus muscle
    1. External abdominal oblique
    2. Latissimus dorsi
    3. Rhomboid major
    4. Rhomboid minor
    5. Supraspinatus
    1. At the center of the anterior abdomen
    2. On the lateral side of the abdomen
    3. On the posterior side of abdomen
    4. Above the clavicles
    5. Inferior to the umbilicus

    Author of lecture Elements of the Abdominal Wall – Overview

     Craig Canby, PhD

    Craig Canby, PhD


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