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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 7.21

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 7.21

Upper Left Quadrant

Lower Left Quadrant

Lower Right Quadrant

Upper Right Quadrant

1 . Interosseous membrane of leg
2. Flexor digitorum longus m.
3. Intermuscular septum
4. Great saphenous v. and saphenous nerve
5. Posterior tibial a. and v.

6. Tendon m. plantaris
7. Gastrocnemius m. (medial head)
8. Gastrocnemius m. aponeurosis and tibial nerve
9. Sural nerve
10. Small saphenous v.

11. Soleus m.
12. Gastrocnemius m. (lateral head)
13. Peroneal v. and a.
14. Flexor hallucis longus m. (first appearance)
15. Posterior crural septum (posterior intermuscular septum)
16. Peroneus longus m.

17. Peroneus brevis m.
18. Superficial peroneal nerve
19. Anterior crural septum (anterior intermuscular septum)
20. Extensor digitorum longus and extensor hallucis longus mm.
21. Anterior tibial a. and v.
22. Tibialis posterior m.
23. Tibialis anterior m.

This section is three below the preceding one (3 cm).

All of the musculature of the back of the leg, except the popliteus muscle, is represented in this section. Those of the superficial group include gastrocnemius (7, 12), soleus (11), and plantaris, represented by its long thin tendon (6). Those of the deep group include flexor digitorum longus (2) and flexor hallucis longus (14). Flexor hallucis longus makes its first appearance in this section. Popliteus muscle also belongs to the deep group, and it may be seen in Plate 7.17 (8) and Plate 7.18 (2).

The medial head (the broader and thicker of the two heads) of gastrocnemius (7) arises from the back of the medial condyle of the femur above the articular surface, from an area on the back of the femur superolateral to the condylar origin, and from the femoral margin of the capsule of the knee joint. The lateral head (12) arises from a facet on the proximal portion of the posterolateral surface of the lateral condyle of the femur and from a proximomedial area above the lateral condyle. The insertion of gastrocnemius is discussed following the description of the origin of the soleus muscle.

The fibular head of soleus (11) arises from the back of the head of the fibula (see Plate 7.17, 14) and from the proximal third of the posterior surface of the shaft of the fibula, from the intermuscular septum (15) between it and the peroneus longus (16). The tibial head arises from the popliteal line and from the middle third of the medial border of the tibia.

The calcaneal tendon (Achilles) is the common tendon of gastrocnemius and soleus (triceps surae), and it is the thickest, hence the strongest, in the body. The tendon begins as a broad aponeurosis on the deep side of each muscle (3, 8) and passes with muscle bundles obliquely, from each side, to insert in a bipenniform manner on the deep surface of the calcaneal tendon. From the distal half of the leg the cancaneal tendon begins as a broad aponeurosis that covers the greater part of the posterior surface of the gastrocnemius muscle, which gradually converges into the heavy fibrous band (tendon) that is inserted onto the calcaneus bone of the foot.

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