Article

The tensor of the vastus intermedius the fifth muscle of the extensor apparatus of the knee joint

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Abstract

The quadriceps femoris is traditionally described as a muscle group composed of the rectus femoris and the three vasti. However, clinical experience and investigations of anatomical specimens are not consistent with the textbook description. We have found a second tensor-like muscle between the vastus lateralis (VL) and the vastus intermedius (VI), hereafter named the tensor VI (TVI). The aim of this study was to clarify whether this intervening muscle was a variation of the VL or the VI, or a separate head of the extensor apparatus. Twenty-six cadaveric lower limbs were investigated. The architecture of the quadriceps femoris was examined with special attention to innervation and vascularization patterns. All muscle components were traced from origin to insertion and their affiliations were determined. A TVI was found in all dissections. It was supplied by independent muscular and vascular branches of the femoral nerve and lateral circumflex femoral artery. Further distally, the TVI combined with an aponeurosis merging separately into the quadriceps tendon and inserting on the medial aspect of the patella. Four morphological types of TVI were distinguished: Independent-type (11/26), VI-type (6/26), VL-type (5/26), and Common-type (4/26). This study demonstrated that the quadriceps femoris is architecturally different from previous descriptions: there is an additional muscle belly between the VI and VL, which cannot be clearly assigned to the former or the latter. Distal exposure shows that this muscle belly becomes its own aponeurosis, which continues distally as part of the quadriceps tendon. Clin. Anat., 2015. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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... This definition is also reflected in the standard anatomical understanding of non-specialist anatomists and clinicians. However, research carried out by a Swiss/Australian group in 2016 led to the identification, characterisation and naming of an additional muscle belly -the tensor vastus intermedius [9]. ...
... The tensor vastus intermedius is found in the anterior compartment of the thigh. It was first described as a new muscle in a cadaver study involving twenty-six lower limbs, in which the researchers identified a clearly separate muscle belly between vastus lateralis and vastus intermedius in twenty-two of twenty-six cases [9]. In the remaining four cases, proximal separation of the muscle bellies was not possible, for reasons described later in this paper. ...
... In the remaining four cases, proximal separation of the muscle bellies was not possible, for reasons described later in this paper. The tensor vastus intermedius is covered anteriorly by rectus femoris [9], takes origin from the anteroinferior aspect of the greater trochanter of the femur distal to the intertrochantric line, and inserts into the medial aspect of the patellar base [9]. The position of tensor vastus intermedius in relation to its surrounding structures can be clearly seen in Figure 1. ...
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Background: This review aims to summarise the relevant literature surrounding the tensor vastus intermedius, a newly discovered muscle, and to discuss its morphology and potential clinical importance. No such review currently exists in the literature. Materials and methods: A comprehensive literature search regarding the tensor vastus intermedius was performed using PubMed and Google Scholar in July 2020. Principles of Evidence-Based Anatomy and the Anatomical Quality Assessment Tool were employed to ensure a high-level review. All relevant papers were included and citation tracking was performed to uncover further publications. Results: The tensor vastus intermedius is found in the anterior compartment of the thigh and has a similar morphology to the other vasti muscles. It has four main variations and a consistent neurovascular supply. The muscle has been implicated in a number of case reports and surgical procedures, which are described in detail in this paper. Conclusions: In the four years since the tensor vastus intermedius was formally described, a significant amount of work has been done to help us understand its structure and function. Further efforts are needed to gain a full picture as to its clinical importance. As such, it is recommended that this muscle should be acknowledged in anatomical education.
... The QF is reported to show little morphological variation, only duplication of the VM or vastus lateralis (VL) in some cases [2,3]. However, its morphological variability has been increasingly studied in recent years [4][5][6][7]. A fifth head of the QF, the tensor vastus intermedius (TVI), has been observed [4][5][6][8][9][10][11]. Also, recent studies suggest that the QF is not exactly a quadriceps; since cases of six, seven, or eight bellies have been observed, it should be termed a multiceps femoris [7,12]. ...
... However, its morphological variability has been increasingly studied in recent years [4][5][6][7]. A fifth head of the QF, the tensor vastus intermedius (TVI), has been observed [4][5][6][8][9][10][11]. Also, recent studies suggest that the QF is not exactly a quadriceps; since cases of six, seven, or eight bellies have been observed, it should be termed a multiceps femoris [7,12]. ...
... Holyoke [47] described a potential fifth head as an aberrant belly. Interestingly, Grob et al. [4] classified a fifth head of the QF as the tensor vastus intermedius (TVI) and created a five-fold classification of it, based primarily on the course of the aponeurosis tendon. BioMed Research International A detailed description of this classification is given in Table 2 and Figure 8. ...
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Introduction: The quadriceps femoris consists of four muscles: the rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, and vastus lateralis. However, the effect of additional quadriceps femoris heads on the vasti muscles and patellar ligaments is unknown. The aims of the present study are to determine the relationship between additional quadriceps femoris heads and the vasti muscles and patellar ligaments and to review the morphology of the vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius. Materials and methods: One hundred and six lower limbs (34 male and 19 female cadavers) fixed in 10% formalin were examined. Results: On all lower extremities, the vastus lateralis consisted of superficial, intermediate, and deep layers. The vastus medialis, on the other hand, consisted of only the longus and obliquus layers. The quadriceps head had one or more supplementary heads in 106 dissected limbs from 68 cadavers (64.1%). The distal portion of the patella was wider in lower limbs without supplementary heads than in type IA but narrower than in type IIIA. In general, the distal portion of the patella was narrower in specimens with a supplementary head than in those without (19.03 SD 3.18 mm vs. 20.58 SD 2.95 mm, p = 0.03817). Other patellar ligament dimensions did not differ significantly. Conclusion: The quadriceps femoris muscle is characterized by high morphological variability. Occurrence of extra heads is at the level of 64.1%. The vastus lateralis consists of three parts (superficial, intermediate, and deep), and vastus medialis consists of two (longus and oblique).
... This common tendon was reported as a tri-laminar arrangement that is composed by RF superficially, vastus VL and VM in the intermediate and VI in the deepest layer [5][6][7] while others have failed to observe this structure reporting a more 2 of 14 complex organization [8]. This morphological variability has also been described for QF musculature [9,10]. ...
... The complex of the QF is still under examination as it is uncertain whether the QF can be regarded as a group with four individual muscle heads [10,11]. Past literature noticed that it is possible that VM and VL are separated in two discrete parts [9]. ...
... Past literature noticed that it is possible that VM and VL are separated in two discrete parts [9]. Recent anatomical investigations documented the existence of a fifth head, the tensor of the vastus intermedius (TVI) which is located between the VL and the VI [10,12]. In particular, the TVI has been thoroughly described by Grob et al. [10] as a muscle which originates proximally from the anterolateral aspect of the greater trochanter and distally to the quadriceps tendon and insert into the medial aspect of the patella [10,12]. ...
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The tensor of vastus intermedius is a newly discovered muscle that is located at the anterior compartment of the thigh. The aim of the present study is to report, assess and synthetize the existing evidence on the anatomy, variation and morphological characteristics of the TVI as well as to examine its clinical importance. A systematic review was performed evaluating both anatomical and medical imaging studies which provided information about TVI anatomy, prevalence, variations and morphological characteristics. The search strategy was conducted in major electronic databases. Two reviewers worked independently to screen all possible references via a title/abstract examination. Methodological quality was examined with the Anatomical Quality Assurance checklist. A total of 295 cadaveric knees were included in the nine studies where in 244 (82.7%) cases the TVI was identified. Based on this evidence, it appears that the TVI is located between the vastus lateralis and vastus intermedius. The muscle belly is located proximally, and it is combined with a broad and flat aponeurosis before forming a tendinous structure that is attached at the medial aspect of the patella. The TVI presented some morphological variations and complex muscle architecture that varied along its length. There is insufficient good quality evidence as more than half of the included studies were ranked as having a “High” risk of bias with various methodological issues. Higher quality studies are recommended to evaluate the TVI morphology to better understand its functional and clinical importance.
... The existence of a fifth QF muscle belly located between the VL and VI muscles was first noted by Golland et al. and Willan et al. [10,33]. Subsequently, Grob et al. identified its presence in all investigated limbs, classified it as the fifth head of the QF muscle, and labeled it the tensor of the vastus intermedius (TVI) [11]. However, recent studies have found cases where the TVI muscle may be absent, raising the question of whether this structure should be considered a new muscle or merely an anatomical variant [4]. ...
... However, recent studies have found cases where the TVI muscle may be absent, raising the question of whether this structure should be considered a new muscle or merely an anatomical variant [4]. As a part of the QF, the TVI facilitates knee extension and probably opposes lateral dislocation of the patella [11]. ...
... The TVI muscle type resembles the QF Type 1 described by Grob et al. (Fig. 1). In addition, two more separate muscle bellies were visualized (Figs. 2, 3) [11]. The fifth head originated from the medial surface of the greater trochanter. ...
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PurposeWe present a case of a seven-headed quadriceps femoris (QF) muscle and a systematic review of the literature concerning this anatomical variation.Methods During a routine dissection of the lower limbs of a 72-year old cadaver, a QF with supernumerary heads was identified. Each head of the muscle was photographed and subjected to further measurement.ResultsIn addition to the four traditional heads of the QF muscle, we found a tensor of the vastus intermedius (TVI) muscle and two additional muscle bellies composed of tendons. Attachments of the TVI tendon and additional tendons were localized on the superior medial border of the patella.Conclusion It is important to be aware of morphological variability of the quadriceps femoris muscle. The described case assists clinicist with avoiding misdiagnoses around the knee.
... It is interesting to ask whether the variant described here could be useful in this procedure. In the literature, we found another example of an additional structure in the QF region: a tensor of the vastus intermedius (TVI), a fifth head of the QF [6,[11][12][13]24]. This muscle usually grows out from the VL and VI. ...
... Other authors such as Holyoke [14] and Willan et al. [26] also found a fifth head of the QF. Grob et al. [11] carried out a study in which 26 limbs had an additional head of the QF; they called it the TVI. Moreover, Grob et al. [11] and Veeramani and Gnanasekaran [24] found two additional structures (double TVI) connected by a common tendon. ...
... Grob et al. [11] carried out a study in which 26 limbs had an additional head of the QF; they called it the TVI. Moreover, Grob et al. [11] and Veeramani and Gnanasekaran [24] found two additional structures (double TVI) connected by a common tendon. An interesting case of a three-headed QF was described by Bonnechère et al. [6], in which it was impossible to distinguish between the VI and VM, or the VI and VL. ...
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Purpose The aim of the present case is to describe an interesting variation of the additional head of the rectus femoris. Methods A male body donor, 81 years old at death, was subjected to routine anatomical dissection for research and teaching purposes at the Department of Anatomical Dissection and Donation, Medical University of Lodz, Poland. Results We have found an example of an accessory head of the quadriceps femoris, a double-headed rectus femoris in which the proximal attachment is connected to the rectus femoris muscle originating from the anterior inferior iliac spine. The muscle belly of this additional structure is separate but fused distally with the vastus lateralis muscle. It then passes into the patellar ligament inserted into the tibial tuberosity. Conclusions Knowledge of the possible occurrence of an additional head is nevertheless important for clinicians, especially for orthopedists performing reconstructive surgeries. It could also be significant for physiotherapists arranging rehabilitation plans after such surgeries because it could potentially help to achieve faster recovery.
... [8, 13] Current anatomical research labels the fifth head of the QF as the "Tensor of the vastus intermedius" (TVI). [10] The incidence of the TVI ranges from 29% to 100%. [3, 10, This paper describes an extremely rare variant of the TVI, which consists of two layers, superficial and deep. ...
... [11] It is highly feasible that the bilaminar structure and connection of the sixth head to the VM muscle affects the medialization of the patella more than other types previously described. [10,21] Proper knowledge of the anterolateral thigh anatomy is also nessesery in reconstruction surgery. ...
Article
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Background: We present a case report of Quadriceps Femoris (QF) with co-existing bilaminar Tensor of the vastus intermedius muscle (TVI) and new type of sixth head. Materials and methods: Cadaveric dissection of left thigh of a 72 years old was performed for research and teaching purposes at the Department of Anatomical Dissection and Donation, Medical University of Lodz. The left lower limb were dissected using standard techniques according to a strictly specified protocol. Each head of the muscle was photographed and subjected to further measurement. Results: During dissection, an unusual type of TVI muscle was observed. It consisted of two surfaces, superficial and deep. In addition sixth head of QF muscle grew out from the VM muscle. Conclusions: The knowledge of the existence and possible variations of additional heads of QF muscle is necessary during diagnostic process of muscle strains. Moreover, according to course of tendons that heads may take part in patella stabilization.
... The occurrence of these additional heads has also raised speculations on whether the quadriceps should be called as multiceps femoris 10 . It was Grob et al. who had initially termed the additional head as a 'tensor of the vastus intermedius' and this term has crept into most of the subsequent publications 11 . Both Grob et al. and Veeramani et al. report the prevalence of the additional head in 100% of individuals studied. ...
... Both Grob et al. and Veeramani et al. report the prevalence of the additional head in 100% of individuals studied. Both report the position of the fleshy head to be located between the vastus lateralis and vastus intermedius 11,12 . However, other studies by Collins et al. and Alimohammed report a lower www.nature.com/scientificreports/ ...
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Quadriceps femoris is an extensor muscle in the anterior compartment of thigh and is traditionally taught to be composed of four heads. Recently, there is an increased interest in the occurrence of an additional muscle head of quadriceps femoris. But scientific knowledge regarding its incidence is lacking in the South Indian population. This study was done to confirm the presence of the additional head by routine anatomic dissection and radiological imaging techniques. Forty-one formalin fixed human cadaveric lower limbs were dissected and the morphology of the additional head was noted. Retrospective analysis of 88 MRI images of patients was done. The additional muscle head was present in 43.9% of the cadaveric lower limbs and was consistently located between the vastus lateralis and vastus intermedius. It originated from variable portions of the greater trochanter, intertrochanteric line, lateral lip of linea aspera and lateral surface of the shaft of femur and inserted either as a muscle belly or as an aponeurosis into the vastus intermedius (55.6%), vastus lateralis (22.2%) or directly into the base of the patella. It received its vascular supply from branches of the lateral circumflex femoral artery and was innervated by branches from the posterior division of the femoral nerve. In addition, the additional muscle head was identified by MRI and its incidence was reported to be 30.68% for the first time in living subjects. The result of this study provides additional information in understanding the morphology of the quadriceps femoris muscle.
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Background Published data regarding the structure of the quadriceps tendon are diverse. Dissection of the quadriceps muscle group revealed that beside the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius and vastus medialis a fifth muscle component– named the tensor vastus intermedius consistently fused into quadriceps tendon. It can be hypothesized that all these elements of the extensor apparatus of the knee joint must also be represented in the quadriceps tendon. This study investigated the multi-layered quadriceps tendon with special emphasis on all components of the quadriceps muscle group including the newly discovered tensor vastus intermedius. Methods Ten cadaveric lower limbs were dissected. All muscle bellies of the extensor apparatus of the knee joint were identified and traced distally until they merged into the quadriceps tendon. Connections between the different aponeurotic layers of each muscle were studied from origin to insertion. The fusing points of each layer were marked. Their distance to the patella and the distances between the fusing points were measured. ResultsSix elements of the quadriceps muscle group form a tri-laminar structure of the quadriceps tendon. The intermediate layer could be further sub-divided. The elements of the quadriceps tendon are 1. lateral aponeurosis of the vastus intermedius, 2. deep and 3. superficial medial aponeurosis of the vastus intermedius, 4. vastus lateralis, 5. tensor vastus intermedius and 6. rectus femoris. Even with differences in fiber direction – these elements join each other a certain distance proximal to the patella.All elements were fused over a region measuring 13 to 90 mm proximal to the patella. Lateral parts of the vastus intermedius formed the deepest layer of the quadriceps tendon. The superficial and deep layer of the medial vastus intermedius aponeurosis fused 56 mm (range, 30 to 90 mm) and 33 mm (range, 13 to 53 mm) above the patella with the aponeurosis of the tensor vastus intermedius and vastus lateralis respectively. Together they built the two-layered intermediate layer of the quadriceps tendon. The tendon of the rectus femoris forms the superficial layer. The vastus medialis inserts medially in all layers of the quadriceps tendon.Fibers of the lateral muscle components were oriented towards the medial, and fibers of the medial muscle components were oriented towards the lateral femoral condyle. Conclusions The three-layered quadriceps tendon is formed by six elements. These are 1. lateral aponeurosis of the vastus intermedius, 2. deep and 3. superficial medial aponeurosis of the vastus intermedius, 4. vastus lateralis, 5. tensor vastus intermedius and 6. rectus femoris. These elements of the extensor apparatus join each other proximal to the patella in a complex onion-like architecture. Its two-layered intermediate layer shows variable fusions points. The vastus medialis contributes to the quadriceps tendon with its medial insertion into all layers of the quadriceps tendon.
Article
Purpose: Although the vastus medialis (VM) is closely associated with the vastus intermedius (VI), there is a lack of data regarding their functional relationship. The purpose of this study was to investigate the anatomical interaction between the VM and VI with regard to their origins, insertions, innervation and function within the extensor apparatus of the knee joint. Methods: Eighteen human cadaveric lower limbs were investigated using macro-dissection techniques. Six limbs were cut transversely in the middle third of the thigh. The mode of origin, insertion and nerve supply of the extensor apparatus of the knee joint were studied. The architecture of the VM and VI was examined in detail, as was their anatomical interaction and connective tissue linkage to the adjacent anatomical structures. Results: The VM originated medially from a broad hammock-like structure. The attachment site of the VM always spanned over a long distance between: (1) patella, (2) rectus femoris tendon and (3) aponeurosis of the VI, with the insertion into the VI being the largest. VM units were inserted twice-once on the anterior and once on the posterior side of the VI. The VI consists of a complex multi-layered structure. The layers of the medial VI aponeurosis fused with the aponeuroses of the tensor vastus intermedius and vastus lateralis. Together, they form the two-layered intermediate layer of the quadriceps tendon. The VM and medial parts of the VI were innervated by the same medial division of the femoral nerve. Conclusion: The VM consists of multiple muscle units inserting into the entire VI. Together, they build a potential functional muscular complex. Therefore, the VM acts as an indirect extensor of the knee joint regulating and adjusting the length of the extensor apparatus throughout the entire range of motion. It is of clinical importance that, besides the VM, substantial parts of the VI directly contribute to the medial pull on the patella and help to maintain medial tracking of the patella during knee extension. The interaction between the VM and VI, with responsibility for the extension of the knee joint and influence on the patellofemoral function, leads readily to an understanding of common clinical problems found at the knee joint as it attempts to meet contradictory demands for both mobility and stability. Surgery or trauma in the anteromedial aspect of the quadriceps muscle group might alter a delicate interplay between the VM and VI. This would affect the extensor apparatus as a whole.
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Tensor of vastus intermedius is a newly discovered muscle located between vastus lateralis and vastus intermedius. The purpose of this study was to investigate the detailed morphology of tensor of vastus intermedius, specifically to provide data pertaining to the attachments, innervations, variation in the types and its morphometry in South Indian population. The tensor of vastus intermedius was studied in thirty six cadaveric lower limbs using macrodissection techniques. The origin of the muscle was from upper part of intertrochanteric line and anterior part of greater trochanter of femur inserted to medial aspect of upper border of patella. The muscle was classified into four types based on the origin and also the aponeurosis course with independent type (type 1) being common. The mean and standard deviation of the length of tensor of vastus intermedius and aponeurosis were 145.40±37.55 mm and 193.55±42.32 mm, respectively. The results of the study suggest that tensor of vastus intermedius is variable and the information provided regarding the attachments, types and quantitative data will contribute to the existing knowledge of the muscle.
Article
Background Quadriceps tendon (QT) autograft is emerging as a popular technique for primary anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Studies have shown that it has comparable outcomes to bone-patellar tendon-bone (BPTB) and hamstring tendon (HT) autografts while mitigating post-operative complications associated with these grafts. Purpose To provide a literature summary of the important pre- and post-operative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings of the quadriceps tendon and pertinent postoperative complications associated with the QT harvest. Radiologists should be familiar with MR findings after autologous graft harvest of the quadriceps tendon for reconstruction of the ACL. Level of evidence Level IV.
Article
Purpose The quadriceps femoris (QF) consists of four muscles: the rectus femoris; vastus medialis; vastus lateralis, and vastus intermediate. The tendons of all of these parts join together into a single tendon that attaches to the patella. The QF is a powerful extensor of the knee joint that is needed for walking. A growing number of publications have examined the fifth head of the QF muscle. There is no information about the possibility of other heads, and there is no correct classification of their proximal attachments. Further, the frequency of occurrence of additional heads/components of the QF remains unclear. Methods One hundred and six lower limbs (34 male and 18 female) fixed in 10% formalin solution were examined. Results Additional heads of the QF were present in 64.1% of the limbs. Three main types were identified and included subtypes. The most common was Type I (44.1%), which had an independent fifth head. This type was divided into two subtypes (A‐B) depending on its location relative to the vastus intermediate. The second most common type was Type II (30.8%), which originated from other muscles: IIA from the vastus lateralis; IIB from the vastus intermediate, and IIC from the gluteus minimus. In addition, Type III (25%) was characterized by multiple heads : IIIA–two heads with a single common tendon; IIIB–two heads with two separate tendons; IIIC–three heads (lateral, intermediate, medial), and IIID–four heads (bifurcated lateral and bifurcated medial). Conclusion The introduction of a new classification based on a proximal attachment is necessary. The presence of the fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth head varies. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Article
Unlike the general understanding of the quadriceps femoris, the existence of a new muscular head between the vastus lateralis and the vastus intermedius was reported, and named the tensor of the vastus intermedius in the Swedish population. The purpose of this study was to investigate the presence and form of the muscular head in the Japanese population and to clarify its structure by gross anatomical approaches. A total of 35 thighs of 20 Japanese cadavers were investigated. We searched for the muscular head and classified it into four types. In addition, nerve fiber analysis was performed for each classification type. Regarding classification, 11% were the independent type, 29% were the common type, 37% were the vastus lateralis type, and 23% were the vastus intermedius type. Based on nerve fiber analysis, in the common type, the muscular head was under dual nerve supply from the vastus lateralis and intermedius. The other three types were innervated only by nerves from the vastus lateralis. The target muscular head may always be present in Japanese. The nerves from the vastus lateralis were always distributed in the target muscular head based on nerve fiber analysis; therefore, this muscular head may be most closely related to the vastus lateralis. The name of this muscular head should be “the accessory head of the vastus lateralis” rather than “the tensor of the vastus intermedius.”
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Purpose: The quadriceps femoris has been described as a muscle composed by four heads: rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis and vastus intermedius. Each head fuse with the other ones making up the quadriceps tendon, which inserts into the patella. Nevertheless, there has been described a fifth component of the quadriceps muscle in recent anatomical publications. Understanding this fifth head may be important for orthopedics and radiologist. Methods: Cadaveric dissection of left thigh of a female 83 years old was performed to demonstrate a fifth head of the quadriceps femoris muscle. Results: In this study, a fifth head of the quadriceps femoris muscle was found in the left thigh of a female cadaver 83 years old. This fifth head was made up by four independent muscular fascicles attaching in a common flat tendon that joins distally with the lateral border of the quadriceps tendon. The fifth head found was supplied by branches of the ascending branch of the lateral femoral circumflex artery and by branches of the deep lateral division of the femoral nerve. Conclusions: The incidence of this fifth belly in cadaveric studies has been reported as a range from 29 to 100%. However, no published articles refer an anatomical finding such as this multi-bellied fifth head. The knowledge of the existence and location of the fifth belly is necessary to make accurate diagnosis of QF muscle strains. Its anatomical course may be involved in patellar tracking.
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Background Recent anatomical investigations have emphasized the variability in the knee extensor apparatus, with particular attention to a fifth component of the quadriceps femoris termed the tensor vastus intermedius or accessory “quinticeps femoris.” Disorders of this structure have not been described in the pediatric imaging literature. Objective To review the clinical features, pathoanatomy and imaging findings of children presenting with derangement of the accessory quadriceps femoris, with a particular emphasis on the utility of early magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the thigh. Materials and methods This is a retrospective analysis of 3 children, ages 3–10 years at presentation, who underwent imaging evaluation with subsequent surgically proven accessory quadriceps femoris muscles. Their clinical histories, including duration of symptoms, MRI findings, intervention and surgical outcomes, are reported. Results All patients presented with progressive unilateral restricted knee flexion and had multiple imaging studies targeting the knee before diagnosis. Diagnosis in all patients was made on MRI of the thighs, which demonstrated a fusiform low signal intensity structure with muscle-like architecture arising from the anterior or anterolateral proximal femur and blending with the common quadriceps tendon distally. All patients underwent surgical release of the anomalous band with significant functional improvement. Conclusion In cases of progressive limited knee flexion without intrinsic pathology, an accessory quadriceps muscle should be considered as an extrinsic cause. Our experience demonstrated this to be readily identifiable on MRI, with symptomatic improvement following surgical release. Early recognition of this condition should prevent unnecessary intervention such as knee arthroscopy and the debilitating loss of flexion due to delayed diagnosis.
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There are countless morphological variations among the muscles, tendons, ligaments, arteries, veins and nerves of the human body, many of which remain undescribed. Anatomical structures are also subject to evolution, many disappearing and others continually emerging. The main goal of this pilot study was to describe a previously undetected anatomical structure, the plantaris ligamentous tendon , and to determine its frequency and histology. Twenty-two lower limbs from 11 adult cadavers (11 left, and 11 right) fixed in 10% formalin were examined. The mean age of the cadavers at death was 60.1 years (range 38–85). The group comprised six women and five men from a Central European population. All anatomical dissections of the leg and foot area accorded with the pre-established protocol. Among the 22 lower limbs, the PLT was present in 16 (72.7%) and absent in six (27.3%). It originated as a strong fan-shaped ligamentous tendon from the superior part of the plantaris muscle, the posterior surface of the femur and the lateral aspect of the knee joint capsule. It inserted to the ilio-tibial band. Histologically, a tendon and ligament were observed extending parallel to each other. A new anatomical structure has been found, for which the name plantaris ligamentous tendon is proposed. It occurs around the popliteal region between the plantaris muscle, the posterior surface of the femur, and the ilio-tibial band.
Article
The tensor vastus intermedius (TVI) is a newly discovered muscle located in the anterolateral thigh (ALT) and is considered the fifth component of the quadriceps femoris muscle. There have been several papers describing its anatomical and morphological features in detail; however, many features of this muscle, such as its ontology or kinetic functions, remain unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the initial appearance of the TVI muscle in human embryonic development and to investigate its growth and development. Histological observations were performed on 30 lower limbs of 15 human embryos from Carnegie stage (CS) 21, 22, and 23 (with crown-rump length ranging from 18.7 to 28.7 mm). Myocyte clusters of the TVI were observed between the vastus lateralis and intermedius muscles in 7 out of 10 limbs in CS 22, indicating that the TVI arises during this stage. In CS 23, the TVI was clearly present in all specimens except one. However, neither the aponeurosis nor the tendonous structure of the TVI were observed in these embryonic stages. Formation of the conventional four components of the quadriceps muscle is completed within CS 21; therefore, our results suggest that the TVI is the last element to develop in the quadriceps femoris complex. It is posited that after the embryonic period, the TVI continues to grow, while forming the tendinous structure toward the patella and receiving vascular supply from certain vascular branches. The clinical significance of these findings is that orthopedists and plastic surgeons who perform surgical procedures within the ALT area should be aware of the anatomy and development of the TVI in order to reduce surgical complications. Our present research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding of the morphogenesis of the TVI and the other femoral extensor muscles.
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Introduction: The quadriceps femoris consists of four muscles: the rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius and vastus lateralis. However, the effect of additional quadriceps femoris heads on the vasti muscles and patellar ligaments is unknown. Materials and Methods: One hundred and six lower limbs (34 male and 19 female cadavers) fixed in 10% formalin were examined. Results: On all lower extremities, the vastus lateralis consisted of superficial, intermediate and deep layers. The vastus medialis, on the other hand, consisted of only the longus and obliquus layers. Additional quadriceps femoris heads affected both the vasti muscles and the patellar ligaments. Conclusion: There is a strong correlation between the presence of accessory quadriceps femoris heads and effects on vasti muscles and patellar ligament.
Chapter
The quadriceps (Fig. 8.1) is the largest muscle in the anterior region of the thigh and is composed of four heads:
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The vastus medialis (VM) muscle has been described as being composed of two separate divisions: the vastus medialis longus (VML) proximally and the vastus medialis oblique (VMO) distally. The VML is reported to directly contribute to knee extension, while the VMO provides medial stabilization of the patella during knee extension. Despite the prevalence of literature describing the morphology and function of the VMO as an individual muscle, very little literature exists which actually substantiates the existence of the VMO as a separate, distinct muscle from the VML. The purpose of this study was to examine a sufficiently large sample of human cadavers to quantify and substantiate the existence of the VMO as a separate, distinct muscle from the VML, and to establish a statistical parameter representative of a normal adult population.
Article
The anterior approach to the hip gained popularity for total hip arthroplasty in recent years. Distal extension of the anterior approach, sometimes needed intraoperatively, potentially endangers neurovascular structures to the quadriceps. The aim of this study was to determine the anatomical structures placed at risk by distal extension of the anterior approach to the hip. Seventeen cadaveric hemipelves from twelve human specimens were dissected. The femoral nerve and its branches and the vessels arising from the lateral femoral circumflex artery were assessed in relation to the distal extension of the anterior approach. The damage caused by the introduction of a cerclage cable passer was also investigated. The area immediately distal to the intertrochanteric line is a common entry point for several nerve branches and is a useful distal landmark for surgeons to use to protect important neurovascular structures. The distal extension of the anterior approach compromises the nerve supply to the anterolateral portions of the quadriceps. Introduction of a cerclage cable passer through the anterior access also jeopardizes nerve branches to the vastus lateralis, lateral parts of the vastus intermedius, and branches of the lateral femoral circumflex artery. Distal extension of the direct anterior approach to the hip is challenging to accomplish without neurovascular injury to anterolateral parts of the quadriceps muscle group. In addition, important neurovascular structures are endangered with the introduction of a cable passer through the anterior approach. Distal extension of the direct anterior approach to the hip beyond the intertrochanteric line may compromise neurovascular structures supplying the quadriceps muscle. Copyright © 2015 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated.
Article
Lesions of the quadriceps muscle (QM) are frequently seen by sonographers, and in most cases they are the result of sports-related trauma. An accurate assessment of the severity of the lesion is essential, particularly when the patient is a professional athlete. In most cases, careful history-taking and a thorough physical examination are sufficient for making the diagnosis and indicating the most suitable imaging studies for each case. Clinical assessment alone, however, may not be sufficient for distinguishing contusions from small, partial tears or for estimating the size of a tear. Therefore, at least in patients who are professional athletes, imaging studies are necessary to plan appropriate therapy that will allow prompt functional recovery. Muscles cannot be visualized with conventional radiography, but it is used routinely in prepubertal patients because it can detect apophyseal detachments, which are the most frequent muscle lesion in this age group. Radiography is also useful when myositis ossificans is suspected. Magnetic resonance imaging, thanks to its excellent tissue contrast, allows simultaneous assessment of muscle, joint, and bone planes. It remains a second-line study due to its high cost and relatively low availability. It is also associated with various contraindications, the most important of which is the presence of a cardiac pacemaker. Ultrasonography has a number of advantages, including widespread availability, absence of contraindications, and low cost. It can also be used for dynamic studies of the muscle during contraction and relaxation, and if doubts arise, scans can easily be obtained of the contralateral muscle for comparison purposes. These qualities make it an excellent tool for follow-up of patients with QM lesions, when follow-up is necessary. This article reviews the anatomy of the QM, the technique used for standard ultrasound examination of this muscle, its normal appearance on ultrasound, and the sonographic characteristics of the most common traumatic lesions that affect it.
Article
We describe a symptomatic, progressive restriction of knee flexion due to an accessory quadriceps femoris in a nine-year-old girl. There was no history or findings of post-injection fibrosis, nor any obvious swelling of the affected quadriceps. At arthroscopy no intra-articular pathology was found. An accessory 'quinticeps femoris' was diagnosed by ultrasonography and MRI. Following excision of the muscle and tendon full flexion of the knee was regained and there was no recurrence of the contracture.
Article
Anterior knee pain or patellofemoral pain syndrome is commonly encountered by clinicians, but the pathogenesis of this condition is not well understood. While much research has centred around the relationship between vastus medialis and anterior knee pain, little is known about the most lateral of the quadriceps muscle group, vastus lateralis (VL). Knowledge of the anatomical organization of VL is not only necessary to understand its precise function, but to also assist in the development of clinical and biomechanical models of knee dysfunction. The purpose of this study was to investigate the detailed morphology of VL, specifically to provide data relating to architecture, attachment sites, innervation, and the presence of anatomical partitioning within the muscle. The VL muscle was examined in 10 cadaveric lower limbs using macrodissection techniques. On the basis of architecture and innervation, this muscle comprised four partitions with each receiving its own unique nerve branch. The mean fascicular length of VL was 7 cm and the mean fascicular and muscle physiological cross-sectional areas were 1.2 cm(2) and 21.6 cm(2), respectively. In addition to inserting proximally at the base of the greater trochanter and distally into the superolateral border and base of the patella, three additional attachment sites were identified: the lateral intermuscular septum, iliotibial band, and the rectus tendon. The results of this study suggest that the gross morphology of VL is more complex than previously described, and the information provided regarding architecture will contribute to knowledge regarding the function of VL as well as its role in knee joint dysfunction.
Article
Most descriptions of the extensor mechanism of the knee do not take into account its complexity and variability. The quadriceps femoris insertion into the patella is said to be through a common tendon with a three-layered arrangement: rectus femoris (RF) most superficially, vastus medialis (VM) and lateralis (VL) in the intermediate layer, and vastus intermedius (VI) most deeply. We dissected 20 limbs from 17 cadavers to provide a more detailed description of the anterior components of the knee: the tendon, the patellar retinacula, and the patellofemoral ligaments. Only three of the 20 specimens exhibited the typically described quadriceps pattern. The remainder had bilaminar and even more complex trilaminar and tetralaminar fiber arrangements. We found an oblique head of the vastus lateralis (VLO), separated from the longitudinal head by a layer of fat or fascia, in 60% of the specimens. However, we found no distinct oblique head of the vastus medialis (VMO) in any specimen. The medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) was more common than the lateral (LPFL), supporting its suggested role as the principal passive medial stabilizer of the patella. Because the quadriceps muscle group plays a direct role in patellofemoral joint function, investigation into the clinical applications of its highly variable anatomy may be worthwhile with respect to joint dysfunction and failures of TKAs.
Article
To understand the role of the vastus lateralis (VL) muscle in the pathogenesis of common knee disorders such as patellofemoral joint syndrome, knowledge of its anatomical structure is essential. The aim of this study was to review currently available information on the gross morphology of VL. A structured literature review was undertaken and 36 references, comprising 22 scientific papers and 14 anatomical textbooks, were included. Results of this literature review show that most of the included studies exhibited methodological limitations, and focused on different parameters of the VL muscle. Hence, reproducibility of these studies and comparison of results was difficult. This review also demonstrates a dearth of information on the muscle architecture, compartmentalization, nerve supply and fusion of VL, and that there has been no investigation of the muscle as a whole unit. Further research is required of the architecture and innervation of the VL muscle to better understand its function.
Article
The quadriceps tendon is a multilayered structure with separate layers arising from different muscle groups. We examined this layered configuration on MR images to determine if it is relevant in the evaluation of the traumatized quadriceps tendon. Sagittal and axial T1-weighted MR images of 52 knees with normal tendons were reviewed to determine the number and the muscle origins of these layers. Five knees with traumatized quadriceps tendons were imaged with T1 and T2 weighting to determine the relationship between the layered configuration and the injury. All the normal quadriceps tendons had a laminated appearance with either four (6%), three (56%), or two (30%) layers. In 8%, the laminations were barely perceptible. The site of origin of each layer was consistent, and each favored a given muscle. The superficial layer originated from the posterior fascia of the rectus femoris muscle, and the deep layer originated from the anterior fascia of the midline vastus intermedius muscle. The middle layer(s) arose from the deep fascia separating the vastus medialis and the vastus lateralis muscles from the vastus intermedius muscle. When only two layers were present, the middle layer merged with the superficial and deep layers. In the injured tendon, complete rupture produced transection of all the layers. Incomplete ruptures were seen as focal discontinuities of individual layers; other layers remained intact. The existence of a layered configuration of the quadriceps tendon is significant in the MR examination of partial ruptures. It can help not only in detecting and localizing injuries but also in determining appropriate treatment based on the number or thickness of injured layers.
Article
The present study examined the relative accuracy and precision of MR and CT procedures for determining the CSA of individual muscles from the human thigh. Serial AN, CT and MR cross-sections were obtained from three cadaveric lower limbs. The MR measurements provided accurate and precise values for the CSAs of most thigh muscles, generally within +/- 7.5% of the AN standard. In contrast, CT tended systematically to overestimate the AN CSA by 10-20%. Retest procedures indicated that highly reliable measurements could be obtained from both MR and CT images. However, subjective interpretations of boundaries between closely apposed muscle bellies, particularly for muscles with more than one head, were necessary for resolving entities in the imaging records and this decreased the relative accuracy of MR and CT measures. Interestingly, MR records demonstrated an incomplete septum between vastus lateralis and vastus intermedius more prominently than AN cross-sections. The novel cross-validation procedures used in this study also highlighted several system-based errors in the MR records that, if undetected and left uncorrected, would have seriously biased the morphometric data obtained with this technique. In general, MR provides high resolution images of the human thigh muscles which may be used to obtain valid measures of the CSA of these structures.
Article
Variations in the gross morphology of quadriceps femoris were assessed in 40 cadavers. An additional (fifth) head was present in about one third of the limbs. Distally, fusion between vastus lateralis and vastus intermedius varied from almost complete fusion to less than one third of the interface between the muscles. Discrete tendinous laminae arising from vastus lateralis were present in 29% of the limbs. In half the cadavers there were differences in quadriceps topography on right and left sides but there were no significant differences between muscles from male and female subjects. These findings may have important implications in clinical and microscopic studies of the quadriceps muscle.
Article
Forty-one knees from adult cadavera (twenty female and twenty-one male) were dissected to study the relationship between the longitudinal axis of the patella and the angles of insertion into it of the vastus lateralis and vastus lateralis obliquus muscles. The mean and variance in the angles of insertion of the vastus lateralis obliquus tendon were found to be significantly different between men and women (p less than 0.05 and p less than 0.01, respectively). Three distinct anatomical patterns in the insertion of the vastus lateralis obliquus muscle were delineated. The vastus lateralis muscle, particularly the vastus lateralis obliquus, creates an important lateral force-vector on the patella.
Article
A model of the knee in the sagittal plane was developed to study the forces in the ligaments induced by isometric contractions of the extensor and flexor muscles. The geometry of the distal femur was obtained from cadaver data. The tibial plateau and patellar facet were modeled as flat surfaces. Eleven elastic elements were used to describe the mechanical behavior of the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments (ACL and PCL), the medial and lateral collateral ligaments (MCL and LCL), and the posterior capsule. The model knee was actuated by 11 musculotendinous units, each muscle represented by a Hill-type contractile element, a series-elastic element, and a parallel-elastic element. Tendon was assumed to be elastic. The response of the model to anterior-posterior drawer suggests that the geometrical and mechanical properties of the model ligaments approximate the behavior of real ligaments in the intact knee. Calculations for a simulated quadriceps leg raise indicate further that the two-dimensional model reproduces the response of the three-dimensional knee under similar conditions of loading and constraint. During maximum isometric contractions of the quadriceps, the model ACL is loaded from full extension to 80 degrees C of flexion; the model PCL is loaded at 70 degrees of flexion and greater. For maximum isometric extension, ACL forces in the range 0-20 degrees of flexion depend most heavily upon the force-length properties of the quadriceps. At flexion angles greater than 20 degrees, cruciate ligament forces are determined by the geometry of the articulating surfaces of the bones. During isolated contractions of the hamstrings and gastrocnemius muscles, the model ACL is loaded from full extension to 10 degrees of flexion; the model PCL is loaded at all flexion angles greater than 10 degrees. Isolated contractions of the flexor muscles cannot unload the ACL near full extension, as the behavior of the ACL in this region is governed by the shapes of the bones. At 10 degrees of flexion or greater, the overall pattern of PCL force is explained by the force length properties of the hamstrings and by the geometrical arrangement of the flexor muscles about the knee.
Article
Knowledge of variations in normal human thigh musculature is important for the interpretation of various clinical and biomedical investigations. In this study, cross-sections from whole thighs of 34 cadavers were analyzed qualitatively and morphometrically. Sections were cut from right and left limbs at three levels in the region often used for muscle biopsy. Measurements were made of limb circumferences and cross-sectional areas of the three vasti and of the femur, and of the extent of overlap and fusion between the vasti on the lateral aspect of the thigh. Limb circumference proved to be a good predictor of total cross-sectional area of the quadriceps muscle. Large individual variations were found for most measurements but especially for the amount of fusion between the muscle bellies of vastus lateralis and vastus intermedius. Significant differences were found for most variables between the three levels, but there were few differences between sides except for the cross-sectional area of vastus lateralis which was greater on the right at the most distal level. These variations in size and form of thigh musculature should be considered when interpreting data obtained from muscle biopsy, imaging, biomechanical, electromyographic, and functional studies of the human thigh. Review of the literature on variability of quadriceps muscle and its clinical relevance showed a diversity of approaches but insufficient definitive data suitable for interpreting functional outcomes in response to exercise or following surgery. Further work is suggested combining current anatomical datasets with advanced imaging techniques capable of determining muscle fiber orientation and fiber type composition, and including 3D reconstruction.
Article
Computer models of the musculoskeletal system frequently represent the force-length behavior of muscle with a lumped-parameter model. Lumped-parameter models use simple geometric shapes to characterize the arrangement of muscle fibers and tendon; this may inaccurately represent changes in fiber length and the resulting force-length behavior, especially for muscles with complex architecture. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which the complex features of the rectus femoris and vastus intermedius architectures affect the fiber changes in length ("fiber excursions"). We created three-dimensional finite-element models of the rectus femoris and vastus intermedius muscles based on magnetic resonance (MR) images, and compared the fiber excursions predicted by the finite-element models with fiber excursions predicted by lumped-parameter models of these muscles. The finite-element models predicted rectus femoris fiber excursions (over a 100 degrees range of knee flexion) that varied from 55% to 70% of the excursion of the muscle-tendon unit and vastus intermedius fiber excursions that varied from 55% to 98% of the excursion muscle-tendon unit. In contrast, the lumped-parameter model of the rectus femoris predicted fiber excursions that were 86% of the excursion of the muscle-tendon unit and vastus intermedius fiber excursions that were 97% of the excursion of the muscle-tendon unit. These results suggest that fiber excursions of many fibers are overestimated in lumped-parameter models of these muscles. These new representations of muscle architecture can improve the accuracy of computer simulations of movement and provide insight into muscle design.
Article
This study investigated the anatomy of the structures that form the extensor mechanism of the knee joint using microsurgical techniques. Ten fresh-frozen human adult cadaveric knees were used. The quadriceps components, the infrapatellar tendon, the patellofemoral ligaments, and their relations to the neighboring anatomical structures were measured. The angles of the vastus lateralis and the vastus medialis muscle fibers to the rectus tendon were 26.6 and 41.1 degrees , respectively. The medial patellofemoral ligament connecting the femoral medial epicondyle to the medial edge of the patella was approximately 54.2 mm long, and its width ranged from 9 to 30 mm. The medial patellomeniscal ligament had a wide attachment to the meniscus whereas the attachment to the patella was narrow. The patellar tendon was 31.9 mm broad at its attachment to the apex of the patella and 27.4 mm wide at its attachment to the tibial tubercle. It was 38-49 mm long. Using the surgical microscope we were able to dissect and identify a trilaminar arrangement of prepatellar fibrous soft tissues. Also, we were able to identify the vessels and nerves around the patella. Details of clinical relevance and the possible pathological implications of the material presented are discussed. Emphasis is placed on the stability of the patellofemoral joint and the complex interaction between a range of factors providing it.
Article
The lateral surgical approach to the proximal femur potentially damages the nerve supply to the vastus lateralis (VL) muscle. This study describes the detailed anatomy of the nerve supply to the VL muscle based on dissection of ten cadaveric lower limbs. In all specimens, a single nerve trunk arose from the femoral nerve, which is most subsequently divided into two main divisions. These divisions gave two branches each. These branches coursed from anteriorly and proximally to posteriorly and distally within the muscle. When the muscle was reflected anteriorly from its attachment to the linea aspera, there was no damage to its innervation. Splitting of the VL in the midlateral line of the femur, however, resulted in denervation of the posterior half of the muscle. Precise knowledge of the nerve supply to the VL will help avoid iatrogenic denervation of the muscle in surgical procedures at the proximal femur through the lateral approach.
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