In bilateral dissections of 68 cadavers, four examples were found unilaterally of variant slips of iliacus and psoas major muscles. In three of them the femoral nerve was pierced by the variant slip. One of these variants was a previously undocumented accessory slip of iliacus, originating from the iliolumbar ligament, passing inferiorly anterior to iliacus, and traversing the femoral nerve; its tendon split to be attached proximally to the lesser trochanter of the femur and distally to an unknown insertion. Such anomalies might cause tension on the femoral nerve resulting in referred pain to the hip and knee joints and to the lumbar dermatomes L2,3 and 4. © 1996 Wiley-Liss, Inc.