Muscles of the posterior region of the leg
The muscles in this region are arranged in two layers above, in four below. The first layer consists of the gastrocnemius muscle and the plantaris muscle.
The popliteus (french : muscle poplité) - named from its position on the floor of the ham (= poples) - is a triangular sheet.
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The gastrocnemius - named from Greek terms meaning the belly, and the calf, because it forms the enlargement of that part of the leg - is double-headed, each head consisting of a fusiform muscle, the lower part of which blends with its fellow so as to form a common tendon of insertion. It forms the femoral origin of the great triceps feurae muscle.
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The tibialis posterior (french : muscle tibial postérieur) - named from its position in the back part of the leg and its origin from the tibia - is a thick fusiform sheet.
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The soleus (french : muscle soléaire) - named from solea, the Latin for a sole-fish, because of the resemblance of the muscle to this flat fish - is a thick, fusiform sheet.
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The flexor digitorum longus (french : muscle long fléchisseur commun des orteils) - named from its being the longer of the two flexors of the toes - is a fusiform sheet.
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The plantaris (french : muscle plantaire) - named from its occasional attachment to the fascia covering the sole of the foot (=planta)- is a fusiform, somewhat flattened muscle with a very long ribbon- shaped tendon.
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The flexor hallucis longus muscle (french : muscle long fléchisseur propre du gros orteil) - named from its action upon the great toe (hallux) and its length - is a strong fusiform sheet.
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