Anatomical variations within the deep posterior compartment of the leg and important clinical consequences
Three articles on PainSci cite Hislop 2004: 1. How Many Muscles Are In the Human Body? 2. Shin Splints Treatment, The Complete Guide 3. You Might Just Be Weird
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
The management of musculoskeletal conditions makes up a large part of a sports medicine practitioner's practice. A thorough knowledge of anatomy is an essential component of the armament necessary to decipher the large number of potential conditions that may confront these practitioners. To cloud the issue further, anatomical variations may be present, such as supernumerary muscles, thickened fascial bands or variant courses of nerves and blood vessels, which can themselves manifest as acute or chronic conditions that lead to significant morbidity or limitation of activity. There are a number of contentious areas within the literature surrounding the anatomy of the leg, particularly involving the deep posterior compartment. Conditions such as chronic exertional compartment syndrome, tibial periostitis (shin splints), peripheral nerve entrapment and tarsal tunnel syndrome may all be affected by subtle anatomical variations. This paper primarily focuses on the deep posterior compartment of the leg and uses the gross dissection of cadaveric specimens to describe definitively the anatomy of the deep posterior compartment. Variant fascial attachments of flexor digitorum longus are documented and potential clinical sequelae such as chronic exertional compartment syndrome and tarsal tunnel syndrome are discussed.
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