Structure and Components – Pelvic Floor

by James Pickering, PhD

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    00:00 So, the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is a muscular floor. It forms the inferior boundary of the pelvis. It’s made up of a series of thin, flat muscles. And if we look here, we can see that similar to the last diagram, the organs, the blood vessels are being removed and we have just got the musculature. We can remind ourselves of some of these muscles.

    00:29 We have piriformis here, have piriformis from the anterior surface of the sacrum and that’s going to pass out via the greater sciatic foramen. We also have coccygeus muscle here, sometimes known as ischiococcygeus because it’s passing from the coccyx to the ischium, you can see that here, coccygeus running on the inside of the sacrospinous ligament.

    00:54 We then find we have obturator internus muscle. Here is obturator artery, nerve and vein passing through the obturator canal. And here, we have that thickening running from the superior pubic rami to the ischial spine. We have that thickening of obturator membrane and that is a tendinous arch. Running medially from this tendinous arch, we have our pelvic floor muscles. See them radiating from this tendinous arch laterally running towards the midline.

    01:31 At the midline, they are going to be met by the pelvic floor muscles that have come from the opposite side and they form this hammock from one tendinous arch on the left to one tendinous arch on the right. They form this hammock that fills the floor of the pelvis running from the tendinous arch into the midline. We can see that in slightly more detail when we add in the specific muscles that form the pelvic floor. But, this pelvic floor is, like I have said, a funnel shaped pelvic diaphragm. Remember, the diaphragm separates the thorax from the abdomen. Now, we have a pelvic diaphragm again formed by a series of thin, flat muscles that is going to separate the pelvis above from the perineum below. So, it’s a partition.

    02:29 Just like with the diaphragm, you had apertures to allow the oesophagus, the inferior venacava and the aorta to pass through. This pelvic diaphragm also has apertures that allow the anal canal, the urethra and in the female, the vagina to pass through.

    02:50 We can see some of these here.

    02:53 So, the pelvic floor, the pelvic floor itself is thin sheets of muscle originating from the tendinous arch is made up of what we call levator ani and coccygeus muscle. We are familiar with coccygeus muscle, we can see that here. We then have a series of three muscles that form levator ani. We have puborectalis, we have pubococcygeus and we have iliococcygeus and these three muscles form the pelvic floor, if coccygeus is added. So, puborectalis, pubococcygeus, and iliococcygeus are levator ani; levator ani plus coccygeus is the pelvic floor.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Structure and Components – Pelvic Floor by James Pickering, PhD is from the course Pelvis.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Piriformis
    2. Iliococcygeus
    3. Puborectalis
    4. Pubococcygeus
    5. Coccygeus

    Author of lecture Structure and Components – Pelvic Floor

     James Pickering, PhD

    James Pickering, PhD

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