Anatomic guide and sonography for surgical repair of leg muscle lacerations

David H. Ballard, Kevin J. Campbell, Krystle B. Hedgepeth, Anne M. Hollister, Alberto A. Simoncini, M. Elaine Pahilan, Asser M. Youssef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: There were over 110,000 leg laceration cases reported in the United States in 2011. Currently, muscle laceration is repaired by suturing epimysium to epimysium. Tendon-to-tendon repair is stronger, restores the muscle's resting length, and leads to a better functional recovery. Tendons retract into the muscle belly following laceration and surgeons have a difficult time finding them. Many surgeons are unfamiliar with leg muscle anatomy and the fact that the leg muscles have long intramuscular tendons that are not visible in situ. A surgical anatomic guide exists to help surgeons locate forearm tendons; no such guide exists for tendons in the leg. Materials and methods: The leg tendon ends of 11 cadavers were dissected, measured, and recorded as percentages of leg length. High-frequency ultrasound was used to locate tendon ends in three additional cadavers. These locations were compared with the actual tendon ends located via dissection. Results: There was little variation in tendon end position within the cadaver group, between men and women or right and left legs. The data are presented as an anatomic guide to inform surgeons of the tendon ends' likely locations in the leg. Conclusion: The location of leg intramuscular tendon ends is predictable and the anatomic guide will help surgeons locate tendon ends and perform tendon-to-tendon repairs. Ultrasound is a potentially effective tool for detection of accurate location of repairable tendon ends in leg muscle lacerations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-182
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Leg laceration
  • Leg muscle anatomy
  • Muscle laceration
  • Tendon repair
  • Ultrasound tendons


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