Pelvic Limb

Pelvic limb is the hindlimb. Pelvis refers to the lower portion of the trunk of the body, forming a basin bounded by the hip bones and the sacrum. The pelvic limb is divided into coxal articulation (joint), femoral, genual, crural, tarsal, metatarsal, and phalangeal regions. Coxal articulation refers to the hip joint; femoral to the thigh, genual to the knee, crural to the leg, tarsal to the ankle. The patellar region is located in the lower portion of the genual region that overlies the patella (knee cap). The metatarsus is the portion of the foot (pes, pl. pedes) between the ankle and the digits. The term pes signifies the tarsal, metatarsal, and phalangeal regions.

Bones of Pelvic Limb

The canine hindlimb consists of the upper bone, the femur, which is attached to the pelvis by a ball-and-socket joint, the patella (knee cap), one or more fabellae, and two lower bones, the tibia and the fibula. The bones of the hindpaw include the tarsals, metatarsals, and phalanges.

Unlike the thoracic limb, which has an entirely muscular attachment to the body, the pelvic limb is attached to the axial skelton by means of the sacroiliac joint. Digit of the hindpaw is usually absent in dogs.

Muscles of Pelvic Limb

The sartorius is a straplike muscle that, together with the important quadriceps femoris, flexes the hip and extends the stifle (knee joint). The gluteus medius and the gluteus superficialis are major muscles of the rump. The caudofemoralis extends the hip and rotates the thigh inward. The biceps femoris and papliteus both flex the stifle. The tensor fascia latae is a triangular muscle that flexes the hip. The semitendinosus is the hindmost muscle of the thigh. The gracilis helps to draw the thigh inward toward the body. The major calf muscle, the gastrocnemius flexes the stifle and helps to extend the foot. The peroneus and the tibialis anterior (cranialis) aid in movement of the hindpaw.