Anat Biol Anthropol.  2019 Dec;32(4):151-157. 10.11637/aba.2019.32.4.151.

Anatomical Classification of Plantaris Tendon according to Shape and Location of Insertion in Korean

  • 1Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, Graduate School of Medicine, Kangwon National University, Korea.
  • 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Chuncheon Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University of Medicine, Korea.
  • 3Department of Nursing, Graduate School of Catholic University, Korea.


The plantaris muscle is a small muscle with a short belly and long thin tendon that forms part of the posterior superficial compartment of the calf. The purpose of this study was to classify the insertion type of plantaris tendon of Korean population, to measure anthropological characteristics by measuring the width and thickness, and to obtain clinically applicable anatomical basis data. The dissection was performed on 68 lower limbs (34 right, 34 left) fixed in formalin mixture. The types of insertion of plantaris tendon was classified according to the area and location of insertion into calcaneal tuberosity and calcaneal bone. In this study, all five types were identified. 25 limbs (36.8%) were classified into type 1, 8 limbs (11.8%) into types 2 and 3 respectively, 5 limbs (7.4%) into type 4, 18 lower extremities (26.5%) into type 5. The plantaris tendon was found to be absent in 4 lower limbs (5.9%). No differences in body side or gender were found in the insertion type of plantaris tendon. The thickness of the plantaris tendon was 0.72±0.27 mm for males and 0.59±0.18 mm for females, and males were thicker than females(p=0.029). However, there was no difference between the two genders in the width of the plantaris tendon. In conclusion, this study not only examined the morphological characteristics of plantaris tendon in Korean population, but also presented basic anatomical data that doctors can apply to clinical practice.


Plantaris muscle; Plantaris tendon; Insertion type; Tendon thickness; Tendon width

MeSH Terms

Lower Extremity
Muscle, Skeletal


  • Fig. 1 Schematic representation of the major types of the plantaris tendon insertion. Medial view of the right leg with the plantaris tendon. Olewnik et al. (2017) classified into 5 types of PT insertion by location and area inserted in calcaneal tuberosity. (A) Type 1, fan-shaped insertion to the calcaneal tuberosity on the medial side of the calcaneal tendon; (B) Type 2, insertion to the calcaneal tuberosity, along with the calcaneal tendon (Fan shape is not taken); (C) Type 3, insertion at the calcaneal bone, anterior to the calcaneal tendon; (D) Type 4, insertion not being located on the calcaneal tuberosity but rather in the deep crural fascia; (E) Type 5, very wide insertion encircling the posterior and medial surfaces of the calcaneal tendon. PT: plantaris tendon, CT: calcaneal tendon. Black arrow indicates plantaris tendon.

  • Fig. 2 Location of extension points(ExP) for measuring width and thickness in plantaris muscles. The plantaris muscle was extracted from the right leg. extension point (black arrow) is the point at which the distal tendon begins to expand before its insertion. PM: plantaris muscle, bPM: belly of plantaris muscle, tPM: tendon of plantaris muscle, ExP: extension point.

  • Fig. 3 Types of insertion of the plantaris tendon. Medial view of the right leg with the plantaris tendon. (A) Type 1 (36.8%); (B) Type 2 (11.8%); (C) Type 3 (11.8%); (D) Type 4 (7.4%); (E) Type 5 (26.5%). PT: plantaris tendon, CT: calcaneal tendon, ExP: extension point. Black arrow indicates plantaris tendon.


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