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Extra- and intramuscular nerves distributions of the triceps surae muscle as a basis for muscle resection and botulinum toxin injections



To compare the distribution of extramuscular nerve branches with their intramuscular ramifications in the triceps surae muscle, thus providing anatomical substantiation for the topography of muscle resection and botulinum toxin injections.


Dissection and modified Sihler’s staining of 18 whole-mount human cadaveric specimens.


The distance between the areas with the highest extramuscular branch density and the area of densest intramuscular arborization in gastrocnemius and soleus muscles is approximately 10% of the calf length. This finding should be taken into consideration during nerve blocking and botulinum toxin injections for the treatment of spasticity. Intramuscular nerve arborization patterns make it possible to outline neuromuscular segments in the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles.


Surgical or therapeutic interventions in areas of high extramuscular and intramuscular nerve density can increase the efficacy and safety of botulinum toxin injections and neurotomy. Intramuscular nerve branching patterns should be taken into consideration during triceps surae resection.

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This work was supported by the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) grant funded by the Korea government (MOST) [No. R01-2007-000-11219-0].

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Correspondence to H. J. Kim.

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V. A. Sheverdin and M. S. Hur contributed equally to this work.

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Sheverdin, V.A., Hur, M.S., Won, S.Y. et al. Extra- and intramuscular nerves distributions of the triceps surae muscle as a basis for muscle resection and botulinum toxin injections. Surg Radiol Anat 31, 615–621 (2009).

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  • Triceps surae
  • Innervation
  • Resection
  • Botulinum toxin
  • Sihler’s staining