There's this fascial band called the band of Richer that wraps around the quadriceps femoris muscle above the knee (in this illustration, look for it near the left knee). It seems to stem from the iliotibial tract. I could only find the term "band of Richer"/"Richer's band" from artistic anatomy sources, and it sounds like this particular fascial band is named after Paul Richer. Even though it seems to be noted in some sources meant for artists, surprisingly lots of them completely miss this very visible surface feature. In the photo next to the illustration you can clearly see parts of the vastus medialis above the knee bulges out because something is tying it tightly above.

So what is its proper name, if there's such thing? Is it simply "band of Richer"? What about its Latin name?


1 Answer 1


There is no such ligamentous or connective tissue structure as depicted in the linked image. This is a visual artifact created by the border of the vastus medialis or just a fanciful artistic interpretation. Based on 25 years of teaching human anatomy, I suspect the latter, because the artist's image shows this band much more proximal than the distal extent of the vastus muscles.

Anterior thigh

Here is a link to a photo of a dissection of this region that shows no structure there.

Indeed, Gray's Anatomy's list of eponymous structures does not list it:

enter image description here

There is actually quite a lot wrong with that drawing. The rectus abdominis extends too far superiorly, which really shortens the thorax.

  • $\begingroup$ So what do you think is causing the vastus medialis to bulge out? I know this is a very old source, but I learned about this Richer's band from a very modern anatomy course, with very modern photographic evidence. This band behaves very similarly to the extra tendon from the biceps brachii that wraps around the hand flexors, causing them to bulge out. And this is not the only source either, in Paul Richer's Artistic Anatomy (Anatomie Artistique), it's also mentioned in diagram in passing, strangely enough, as "Richer's band". $\endgroup$ Sep 30, 2021 at 0:21
  • $\begingroup$ Also I'm not quite sure what you mean by "the rectus abdominis extends too far superiorly, which really shortens the thorax". I think if you overlay the diagram onto the photo it's not even that far off, the measurement seems to line up well. Doesn't the rectus abdominis extend all the way to the fifth or even fourth pair of ribs, right above the bottom of the gladiolus, as the diagram depicts? $\endgroup$ Sep 30, 2021 at 0:26
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    $\begingroup$ It's just the distal extent of the muscle as it grades into the quadriceps tendon. The muscle can hypertrophy with exercise, but the tendon won't, so it gives the appearance of a band. I have dissected easily 400 lower limbs and have never seen anything like this. There is no retinaculum-like structure (which is what think you are describing) at that position in the lower limb. $\endgroup$
    – kmm
    Sep 30, 2021 at 0:38

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