Presence of adipose tissue along the posteromedial tibial border

Okunuki Takumi*, Tanaka Hirofumi, Akuzawa Hiroshi, Yabiku Hiroki, Maemichi Toshihiro, Matsumoto Masatomo, Hoshiba Takuma, Kumai Tsukasa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The flexor digitorum longus and posterior tibial tendon as well as the perforating veins are located along the distal posteromedial tibial border. Adipose tissue may surround these structures and possibly play a role in reducing mechanical stress. This study aimed to examine the adipose tissue along the posteromedial tibial border via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, and gross anatomical examination. Methods: The lower legs of 11 healthy individuals were examined every 3 cm from the medial malleolus using MRI and ultrasound. The fat fraction was calculated using fat fraction images. In addition, the gross anatomy of the flexor digitorum longus origin and adipose tissue along the posteromedial tibial border was examined in seven fresh cadavers. The fat fraction was compared at different heights along the posteromedial tibial border and in Kager’s fat pads; we also compared the height of the flexor digitorum longus origin and adipose tissue. Results: In vivo, the adipose tissue was identified along the entire posteromedial tibial border using MRI and ultrasound. There was no significant difference in fat fraction between Kager’s fat pads and the adipose tissue along the posteromedial tibial border, except at the 6 cm mark. All seven cadavers presented adipose tissue along the posteromedial tibial border, significantly more distal than the flexor digitorum longus origin. Conclusion: The adipose tissue was identified along the posteromedial tibial border via MRI, ultrasound, and gross anatomical examination; thus, this tissue may play a role in reducing friction and compressive stress in tendons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number92
JournalJournal of Experimental Orthopaedics
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

Keywords

  • Adipose tissue
  • Fat quantification
  • Gross anatomy
  • Imaging
  • MRI
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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