Proposal for a new classification of plantaris muscle origin and its potential effect on the knee joint.Ann Anat. 2020 Mar 12 [Online ahead of print]AA
The plantaris muscle (PM) is typically characterized by a short, slim and spindle-shaped muscle belly and long, thin tendon. It is situated posterior to the popliteal muscle, and anterior to the lateral head of the gastrocnemius muscle (GM). Little information exists regarding the high variability of origin of the PM. The main aim of the study was hence to characterize the morphology of the PM and its place of origin, classify it and evaluate its prevalence.
Classical anatomical dissection was performed on 142 lower limbs (77 left, and 65 right) fixed in 10 % formalin solution. The morphology of the origin of the PM and its prevalence was evaluated.
The PM was present in 128 lower limbs (90.1 %). Six types of origin were observed, the most common being Type I (48.4 %). This type was divided into two subtypes (A-B): subtype A attaching to the lateral head of the GM, lateral femoral condyle and to the capsule of the knee joint, and subtype B, attaching to the lateral head of the GM, the lateral femoral condyle, knee joint capsule and the popliteal surface of the femur. The second most common type was Type II (25 %), attaching to the capsule of the knee joint and, indirectly, to the lateral head of the GM through the lateral femoral condyle. The third most common type was Type III (10.15 %), attaching to the lateral femoral condyle and the knee joint capsule. Type IV (6.25 %), the rarest type, attached to the lateral femoral condyle, knee joint capsule and to the iliotibial band. Type V (8.6 %) originated only from the lateral condyle of the femur. Type VI (1.6 %) contains only "rare cases".
The PM presents high morphological variability, and its status as a residual muscle should be reconsidered. Our presented classification of its types of origin is a valuable addition for both clinicians and anatomists. Level of Evidence - II Basic Science Research.