Innervation of calf muscles in relation to calf reduction

Kun Hwang, Yu Jin Kim, In Hyuk Chung, Hyung Sun Won, Shigenori Tanaka, Se Il Lee
Annals of Plastic Surgery 2003, 50 (5): 517-22
Plump and muscular calves, a so-called radish-like leg, embarrass young women and cause a feeling of inferiority in Korea. Damage to motor nerves innervating a muscle makes the muscle paralyzed and dystrophic, with loss of muscle volume. The authors studied the morphometry of the motor branches of the tibial nerve innervating the gastrocnemius and soleus muscle and sensory medial sural cutaneous nerve in popliteal fossa. Dissection and exploration of the tibial nerve were performed in the popliteal fossae of 70 legs (of 18 males and 17 females) of embalmed Korean cadavers. The main branch of the tibial nerve innervating medial and lateral gastrocnemius muscle originated 3 cm above and below the popliteal crease. The medial gastrocnemius muscle had an additional nerve (49%). The medial sural cutaneous nerve came off the nerve into the medial gastrocnemius muscle (30%) and diverged 5.5 mm from the tibial nerve. The nerve into the soleus muscle originated from the nerve innervating the lateral gastrocnemius muscle (30%) and was 12.3 mm away from it. Surgeons should keep in mind that the medial sural cutaneous nerve originates from the nerve to medial gastrocnemius in 30% and the nerve to soleus muscle originates from the nerve to lateral gastrocnemius in 30%.

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