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Muscle Architecture of the Human Lower Limb

Wickiewicz, Thomas, L.*; Roy, Roland, R.**; Powell, Perry, L.**; Edgerton, V., Reggie**

Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: October 1983 - Volume 179 - Issue - p 275–283
Section III: BASIC SCIENCE AND PATHOLOGY: PDF Only
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The architectural features of the major knee extensors and flexors and ankle plantar flexors and dorsiflexors were determined in three human cadavers. There was marked uniformity of fiber length throughout a given muscle and a trend toward similar fiber lengths within muscles of a synergistic group. Muscle length/fiber length ratios were remarkably similar for all three limbs. Angles of fiber pinnation were relatively small (0°-15°) and generally consistent throughout the muscle. From these architectural data, the performance of a muscle was studied with respect to its tension production and velocity of shortening potentials. The tension is a function of the number of sarcomeres in parallel, and the velocity of shortening is a function of the number of sarcomeres in series. Muscles were grouped according to whether they showed a predilection for tension or velocity of shortening.

* The Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York.

** Department of Kinesiology and Brain Research Institute, UCLA, Los Angeles, California.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.