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Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus I: Muscular System: Alphabetical Listing of Muscles, Gastrocnemius and Soleus, Twelve varieties of the third head of gastrocnemius

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus I: Muscular System, Alphabetical Listing of Muscles, Gastrocnemius and Soleus

Twelve varieties of the third head of gastrocnemius

Ronald A. Bergman, PhD
Adel K. Afifi, MD, MS
Ryosuke Miyauchi, MD

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed


Image of twelve varieties of the third head of gastrocnemius

redrawn from Frey, H., 1919

1. Origin: Lateral to tibial nerve and popliteal vessels; Insertion: lateral head of gastrocnemius muscle.
2. Origin: Lateral to tiial nerve and popliteal vessels; Insertion: lateral head of gastrocnemius muscle.
3. Origin: Lateral to tiial nerve and popliteal vessels; Insertion: lateral head of gastrocnemius muscle.
4. Origin: Lateral to tibial nerve and popliteal vessels; Insertion: medial head of gastrocnemius muscle.
5. Origin: Lateral to the popliteal vessels; Insertion: medial head of gastrocnemius muscle.
6. Origin: Medial to the tibial nerve and popliteal vein, lateral to the popliteal artery; Insertion: medial head of gastrocnemius muscle.
7. Origin: Medial to the tibial nerve and popliteal vessels; Insertion: medial head of gastrocnemius muscle.
8. Origin: Medial to the tibial nerve and popliteal vein, lateral to the popliteal artery; Insertion: medial head of gastrocnemius muscle.
9. Origin: Medial to the tibial nerve and popliteal artery, lateral to popliteal vein; Insertion: medial head of gastrocnemius muscle.
10. Origin: Medial to the tibial nerve and popliteal vessels; Insertion: medial head of gastrocnemius muscle.
11. Origin: Medial to the tibial nerve and popliteal vessels; Insertion: lateral head of gastrocnemius muscle.
12. Origin: Popliteal fossa; Insertion: tendon of gastrocnemius muscle.

Medial; Medial head of gastrocnemius to the left side. Lateral; Lateral head of gastrocnemius to the right side.

Note: The neurovascular bundle in the popliteal fossa is, in part or entirely, potentially vulnerable in types 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 11 shown above.

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