Mechanics of crural fascia: from anatomy to constitutive modelling

Surg Radiol Anat. 2009 Aug;31(7):523-9. doi: 10.1007/s00276-009-0474-2. Epub 2009 Feb 26.


Ten dissections of inferior limbs and histological studies were performed to describe the structural conformation of the muscular fascia of the leg (crural fascia) and to propose a constitutive model to be adopted for the analysis of its biomechanical behaviour. The crural fascia had a mean thickness of 924 microm and was composed of three layers (mean thickness 277.6 microm) of parallel, collagen fibre bundles separated by a thin layer of loose connective tissue (mean thickness 43 microm). Only a few elastic fibres were highlighted. The disposition of the collagen fibres gives the crural fascia anisotropic characteristics. In addition, their crimped conformation is the cause of the non-linear elastic behaviour of the tissue. Both these aspects are included in the constitutive model. The constitutive modelling of the crural fascia represents a useful tool to rationally interpret the correlation between functional behaviour and structural conformation.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Fascia / anatomy & histology*
  • Fascia / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg*
  • Male