Tensor fasciae suralis

The tensor fasciae suralis muscle is an uncommon accessory muscle in the popliteal region. It can be an unusual cause of a popliteal soft-tissue swelling or mass. 

  • origin: may arise from the distal aspect of any of the hamstring muscles, in the majority of reported cases it originates from the distal semitendinosus muscle.
  • insertion: may insert into the posterior fascia of the leg, into the medial head of the gastrocnemius, or via a long thin tendon onto the superficial aspect of the Achilles tendon
  • innervation: the tibial nerve

A tensor fasciae suralis is located superficially in the popliteal fossa, between the semitendinosus and semimembranosus muscles medially and the biceps femoris muscle laterally. 

A tensor fasciae suralis can usually be identified with ultrasound or MRI, which delineate an accessory muscle in the popliteal fossa, lateral to the semitendinosus tendon and posterior to the semimembranosus.

A muscle similar in location but arising from the semimembranosus has also been described (accessory semimembranosus),

According to some reports, it is thought to have been first described by R A Bergman et al in 1873 3.

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Article information

rID: 50854
Section: Anatomy
Tags: snippet, case
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Tensor fasciae suralis muscle

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