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General Anatomy > Muscles; Muscular system > Muscles of lower limb > Fascia > Plantar aponeurosis

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Description

The plantar aponeurosis is of great strength, and consists of pearly white glistening fibers, disposed, for the most part, longitudinally: it is divided into central, lateral, and medial portions.

The central portion, the thickest, is narrow behind and attached to the medial process of the tuberosity of the calcaneus, posterior to the origin of the Flexor digitorum brevis; and becoming broader and thinner in front, divides near the heads of the metatarsal bones into five processes, one for each of the toes. Each of these processes divides opposite the metatarsophalangeal articulation into two strata, superficial and deep. The superficial stratum is inserted into the skin of the transverse sulcus which separates the toes from the sole. The deeper stratum divides into two slips which embrace the side of the Flexor tendons of the toes, and blend with the sheaths of the tendons, and with the transverse metatarsal ligament, thus forming a series of arches through which the tendons of the short and long Flexors pass to the toes. The intervals left between the five processes allow the digital vessels and nerves and the tendons of the Lumbricales to become superficial. At the point of division of the aponeurosis, numerous transverse fasciculi are superadded; these serve to increase the strength of the aponeurosis at this part by binding the processes together, and connecting them with the integument. The central portion of the plantar aponeurosis is continuous with the lateral and medial portions and sends upward into the foot, at the lines of junction, two strong vertical intermuscular septa, broader in front than behind, which separate the intermediate from the lateral and medial plantar groups of muscles; from these again are derived thinner transverse septa which separate the various layers of muscles in this region. The upper surface of this aponeurosis gives origin behind to the Flexor digitorum brevis.

The lateral and medial portions of the plantar aponeurosis are thinner than the central piece, and cover the sides of the sole of the foot.

The lateral portion covers the under surface of the Abductor digiti quinti; it is thin in front and thick behind, where it forms a strong band between the lateral process of the tuberosity of the calcaneus and the base of the fifth metatarsal bone; it is continuous medially with the central portion of the plantar aponeurosis, and laterally with the dorsal fascia.

The medial portion is thin, and covers the under surface of the Abductor hallucis; it isattached behind to the laciniate ligament, and is continuous around the side of the foot with the dorsal fascia, and laterally with the central portion of the plantar aponeurosis.


This definition incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy (20th U.S. edition of Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body, published in 1918 – from http://www.bartleby.com/107/).

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