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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Human Anatomy in Cross Section: Section 7. Lower Limb

Atlas of Human Anatomy in Cross Section: Section 7. Lower Limb

Plate 7.18

Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Jean J. Jew, M.D., and Paul C. Reimann, B.S.
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed


Plate 7.18

Upper Left Quadrant

Lower Left Quadrant

Lower Right Quadrant

Upper Right Quadrant

1. Tibia
2. Popliteus m.

3. Great saphenous v.
4. Gastrocnemius m. (medial head)
5. Tendon m. plantaris
6. Tibial nerve
7. Small saphenous v.

8. Gastrocnemius m. (lateral head)
9. Posterior tibial a. and v.
10. Soleus m.
11. Intermuscular fascial septum and fibula, lateral crest
12. Peroneus brevis m.
13. Deep and superficial peroneal nerves
14. Peroneus longus m.

15. Peroneal a. and v.
16. Extensor digitorum longus and extensor hallucis longus mm.
17. Tibialis anterior m.
18. Tibialis posterior m.
19. Interosseous membrane of leg
20. Tibial tuberosity

This section is three below the preceding one (3 cm). It cuts the tibia (1), the tibial tuberosity (20), and the fibula 0 1). The plantaris muscle is now represented only by a small tendon (5). The peroneal (15) and posterior tibial (9) arteries have already branched from the popliteal in this section.

The musculature of the leg arises, in part, from the femur but mainly from the tibia and fibula. The muscle bellies are well developed in the proximal half of the leg, where they form the calf and the less well marked ventral and lateral protrusions. As the ankle is approached, the muscle bellies become tendinous and attach the muscles to the skeleton of the foot.

The musculature can be divided into anterior, lateral, and posterior groups. The anterior and lateral groups are separated from each other by an intermuscular septum (11). The anterolateral groups are separated from the posterior group by the tibia (1) and fibula (11), the interosseous membrane (19), and an intermuscular septum that extends from the lateral crest (11) of the shaft of the fibula to the fascia enveloping the leg.

In general, the anterior group of muscles flex the ankle dorsally, invert the foot, and extend the toes. The lateral group plantarflex the ankle and evert the foot. The posterior group flex the knee, plantarflex the ankle, invert the foot, and flex the toes.

The anterior and lateral groups develop from primitive dorsal musculature of the limb and are innervated by the peroneal nerve; the posterior group is ventral in origin and is innervated by the tibial nerve.

Popliteus (2) is a triangular muscle that arises from the lateral condyle of the femur and inserts onto the proximal lip of the popliteal line of the tibia and the surface of the shaft of the tibia proximal to this. It flexes the leg and rotates the leg medially when the knee is flexed. Popliteus is believed to be homologous with the pronator teres of the arm (or a portion of the pronator teres). Popliteus is rarely absent but may have an accessory head that arises from the medial side of the lateral condyle or some nearby structure.

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