An aponeurosis (//; plural: aponeuroses) is a type or a variant of the deep fascia, in the form of a sheet of pearly-white fibrous tissue that attaches sheet-like muscles needing a wide area of attachment. Their primary function is to join muscles and the body parts they act upon, whether it be bone or other muscles. They have a shiny, whitish-silvery color, are histologically similar to tendons, and are very sparingly supplied with blood vessels and nerves. When dissected, aponeuroses are papery and peel off by sections. The primary regions with thick aponeuroses are in the ventral abdominal region, the dorsal lumbar region, the ventriculus in birds, and the palmar (palms) and plantar (soles) regions.
Lumbar aponeurosis of the Visible Human Male, created in the VH Dissector
|Latin||Aponeurosis (plural: Aponeuroses)|
Anterior abdominal aponeuroses
Posterior lumbar aponeuroses
Palmar and plantar aponeuroses and extensor hood
The palmar aponeuroses occur on the palms of the hands. The extensor hoods are aponeuroses at the back of the fingers.
The plantar aponeuroses occur on the plantar aspect of the foot. They extend from the calcaneal tuberosity then diverge to connect to the bones, ligaments and the dermis of the skin around the distal part of the metatarsal bones.
Anterior and posterior intercostal membranes
The anterior and posterior intercostal membranes are aponeuroses located between the ribs and are continuations of the external and internal intercostal muscles, respectively.
Like tendons, aponeuroses attached to pennate muscles can be stretched by the forces of muscular contraction, absorbing energy like a spring and returning it when they recoil to unloaded conditions. Also serving as an origin or insertion site for certain muscles e.g latissimus dorsi.
- Aponeurosis. Dictionary at Google.com.
- "aponeurosis" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
- McCracken, Thomas (1999). New Atlas of Human Anatomy. China: Metro Books. pp. 78–79. ISBN 1-5866-3097-0.
- Azizi, Emanuel; Roberts, Thomas J. (2009). "Biaxial strain and variable stiffness in aponeuroses". The Journal of Physiology. 587 (17): 4309–18. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2009.173690. PMC 2754367. PMID 19596897.