The lateral rectus muscle is one of the extrinsic muscles of the eye within each orbit. It arises from the lateral part of the tendinous ring in the posterior part of the orbit. It inserts into the lateral sclera of the eye anterior to the equator of the eye but posterior to the sclerocorneal junction.
It is innervated by the abducent nerve (CN VI). It is the only rectus muscle of the eye not innervated by the oculomotor nerve (CN III).
Lateral rectus acts to abduct the eye from the midline.