General information

Lateral rectus is a muscle in the orbit (eye) that controls movement.

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Literal meaning

The side directly muscle (of the eye).

Interesting information

Lateral rectus is one of six extraocular muscles which encompass inferior rectus, medial rectus, premium rectus, worse oblique, and also superior oblique. These extraocular muscles space responsible because that coordinating the complex and rapid movements that the eye. Lateral rectus is the just extraocular muscle that is innervated by the abducens nerve (C6).

The primary duty of lateral rectus is abduction, or outside movement, the the eye. Therefore, it deserve to be tested by requesting that a patient look laterally (move their eye far from the midline). If lateral movement of the eye is restricted or if that movement reasons pain, it might be indicative that injury or dysfunction of lateral rectus.

Lateral Rectus Muscle Palsy (LR Palsy) is a condition where dysfunction in lateral rectus is experienced an additional to damages or an illness in cranial nerve six (abducens nerve). The main symptoms of LR palsy space distorted vision and also an i can not qualify to revolve the eye away from the midline. Although resting the affected eye deserve to be useful in some instances, surgical treatment may be forced to turning back the condition and also return full function to the eye.


Common tendinous ring and also the orbital surface ar of the sphenoid.


Anterior surface of the sclera.


Abduction the the eye (outward movement).

Nerve supply

Abducens nerve.

Blood supply

Branches of the ophthalmic artery.


Relevant research

Manual check of the superior oblique extraorbital muscles has actually been displayed in the past to create referred pain come the head in patients enduring from chronic recurring tension kind headaches. However, the effect of hands-on manipulation of other extraorbital muscles has actually not been widely investigated. Current research suggests that hand-operated examination that lateral rectus additionally results in pains referral because that these patients.

Fernández-de-Las-Peñas C, Cuadrado ML, Gerwin RD, Pareja JA. (2009).“Referred ache elicited through manual expedition of the lateral rectus muscle in chronic tension-type headache”.Pain Med. 10(1):43-8.

Myositis is a fairly poorly understood inflammatory disorder affect muscle tissue. A freshly recorded incidence that lateral rectus myositis which presented in a manner identical to abducens nerve palsy highlights the prestige of thoroughly examination prior to diagnosis and implantation of therapy interventions for this condition.

Haslinda AR, Shatriah I, Azhany Y, Nik-Ahmad-Zuky NL, Yunus R. (2013).“Lateral Rectus Myositis Mimicking one Abducens Nerve Palsy in a Pregnant Woman”.Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 2013 Mar 25.

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Lateral rectus exercises

You can improve circulation come the extra ocular muscle by performing day-to-day eye exercises. The cardinal suggest exercise involves looking to the extreme in every direction - up, down, right, and then left. Host your eye in place for ten seconds at each cardinal point. Repeat the practice a complete of 5 times. The eye rolling practice is precisely what it sound like. Role your eye slowly about to do a complete circle. Repeat this exercise five times together well.

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