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insertion: calcaneum medial or anterior to the Achilles tendon
arterial supply: sural arteries
innervation: tibial nerve
antagonist: tibialis anterior
Origin and insertion
The plantaris muscle arises from the posterosuperior aspect of the lateral femoral condyle, close to the origin of lateral head of gastrocnemius. There is often an attachment to the oblique popliteal ligament. As the plantaris crosses the posterior knee joint, it runs medially.
In the calf, it lies in between the medial head of the gastrocnemius and soleus.
Distally, the tendon has a variable insertion pattern but most commonly inserts into the calcaneum either medial or anterior to the Achilles tendon 5.
Plantaris can have variable size, but in most cases is difficult to demonstrate on routine MRI studies.
Plantaris acts weakly to plantar flex the foot and flex the knee. It is considered a vestigial muscle.
In up to 10% of the population, the plantaris is absent; in a smaller number, it may be duplicated 3.
Plantaris tendon can be used as a tendon graft in reconstructive surgery 5.