Your patient is unhappy about the injection that you are preparing to administer into her buttock. “If you have to do it, give it right in the middle,” she insists. How should you respond?

“I’m sorry, but I need to inject into the upper outer quadrant of your buttock to avoid damaging the sciatic nerve.”

Recall that the sciatic nerve, the longest and the thickest nerve in the body, courses from the sacrum through the buttock. Intramuscular injections properly given in the upper outer quadrant of the buttock avoid its course.