The rectus muscles are responsible for extraocular movements of the eye, and are located in the orbit. They arise from a common tendinous ring which surrounds the optic canal and bridges part of the superior orbital fissure. Each muscle passes forward to attach to the sclera, just behind the sclero-corneal junction.
Their actions are:
|medial rectus||adduction of the eye|
|superior rectus||elevation & *adduction|
|inferior rectus||depression & *adduction|
*When the eye is looking straight ahead, both the superior and inferior rectus muscles pass medial to the vertical axis of rotation of the eye. With the eye in this position, both muscles can contract to make it look medially (adduction)