Abstract

ANATOMICAL VARIATIONS OF THE GASTROCNEMIUS MUSCLE- A DISSECTION-BASED STUDY

Author(s): Rajat Dutta Roy1, Rubi Saikia2, Debabani Bora3

BACKGROUND
In human, the bulk of the posterior compartment of the leg is formed by the gastrocnemius and the soleus muscle. The superficially-placed gastrocnemius is a bipennate muscle, but according to available literature, it exhibits numerous anatomical variations.
The aim of the present study is to find out the anatomical variations of the gastrocnemius muscle in this part of Assam.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The present study undertaken in the Department of Anatomy, Jorhat Medical College, from August 2014 to August 2017 included 30 lower limbs from 15 embalmed cadavers of known sexes. These cadavers were provided to the first year MBBS students for routine dissection procedure. After carrying out the dissection as per Cunningham’s Manual of Practical Anatomy, the gastrocnemius muscle was examined for its two heads of origin. Any accessory heads found were noted and recorded.
RESULTS
Out of the 30 lower limb specimens, 28 (93.33%) limbs presented with the normal two-headed gastrocnemius muscle, while 2 (6.66%) limbs (1 right and 1 left), presented with four-headed gastrocnemius muscle. Both these limbs belonged to male cadavers.
CONCLUSION
The precise knowledge of occurrence of multi-headed gastrocnemius muscle should be kept in mind, while performing myocutaneous flaps around the knee joint and also during limb salvage procedures or limb sparing surgery.

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