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Encyclopedia > Gastrocnemius

The gastrocnemius is a powerful superficial muscle that is in the back part of the lower leg (the calf). It runs from its 2 heads just above the knee to the heel, and is involved in standing and walking. It forms the Achilles tendon with the soleus muscle and some anatomists consider them to be a single muscle, the triceps surae. Its name is derived from the Greek, gastroknemia, "the belly of the leg" or calf. Posterior view of the foot and leg, showing the Achilles tendon (tendo calcaneus). ... The soleus muscle and surrounding structures, from Grays Anatomy. ... The triceps surae a term given by some anatomists to the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles together as they both insert into the calcaneus, the bone of the heel of the human foot, and from the major part of the muscle of the back part of the lower leg (the calf...


The gastrocnemius is located with the soleus in the superficial posterior compartment of the leg. It originates from the posterior (back) surfaces of the distal head of the femur. Its other end forms a common tendon with the soleus muscle; this tendon is known as the calcaneal tendon or Achilles tendon and inserts onto the posterior surface of the calcaneus, or heel bone. Anterior view of the femur The femur or thigh bone is the longest (length), largest (volume) and strongest (mechanical ability to resist deformity) bone of the human body. ... The soleus muscle and surrounding structures, from Grays Anatomy. ... Posterior view of the foot and leg, showing the Achilles tendon (tendo calcaneus). ... The calcaneus is the large bone making up the heel of the human foot. ...


Deep to the gastrocnemius (farther from the skin) is the soleus muscle. The plantaris muscle and a portion of its tendon run between the two muscles, whish is involved in "unlocking" the knee from the standing position. On the other side of the fascia are the tibialis posterior muscle, the flexor digitorum longus muscle, and the flexor hallucis longus muscle, along with the posterior tibial artery and posterior tibial vein and the tibial nerve. Since the anterior compartment of the leg is lateral to the tibia, the bulge of muscle medial to the tibia on the anterior side is actually the posterior compartment. The soleus is superficial midshaft of the tibia. In human anatomy, the tibia (Shin Bone) is the larger of the two bones in the leg below the knee, found medial and anterior to the fibula. ...


The action of the calf muscles, including the gastrocnemius, is to plantar flex the foot (that is, they increase the angle between the foot and the leg). It also is a flexor of the knee joint as it is attached to the back of the femur. They are powerful muscles and are vital in walking, running, and dancing. The gastrocnemius does not play as much of a part in maintaining posture as the soleus as excessive contraction could cause the knee to flex. In upright posture, it is responsible for pumping venous blood back into the heart from the periphery, and is often called the peripheral heart or the sural (tricipital) pump.


The gastrocnemius is innervated by the tibial nerve from the sciatic, specifically, nerve roots S1–S2. The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that runs down the lower limb. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Gastrocnemius muscle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (436 words)
The gastrocnemius (pronounced /ˌgæs.trɑkˈni.mi.əs/) muscle is a powerful superficial muscle that is in the back part of the lower leg (the calf).
Deep to the gastrocnemius (farther from the skin) is the soleus muscle, some anatomists consider both to be a single muscle, the triceps surae.
The action of the calf muscles, including the gastrocnemius, is to plantar flex the foot (that is, they increase the angle between the foot and the leg).
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