It’s all about communication. In this case, compartmental communication. There has not been alot on consensus about how many compartments the foot has, but it is known that all the compartments talk to one another. This study identified six compartments: dorsal, medial, lateral, superficial central, deep forefoot, and deep hindfoot. It goes on to say: Communication was evident between the deep hindfoot compartment and the superficial central and deep central forefoot compartments.
This should not be that surprising. In this case, the deep hindfoot intrinsic muscles would include the quadratus plantae (seen above attaching to the calcaneus), which augments the pull of the long the long flexor muscles and helps to keep the toes flat on the ground.
The superficial central compartment would include the short flexors (flexor digitorum brevis), another stance phase muscle that is also important in keeping the toes flat on the ground.
The deep central forefoot compartment would include the transverse head of the adductor hallucis. important in maintaining 1st ray stability and keeping the head of the 1st metatarsal on the ground and maintaining an adequate foot tripod.
Another point worth mentioning was this: In the hindfoot, the neurovascular bundles were located in separate tissue sheaths between the central hindfoot compartment and the medial compartment. In the forefoot, the medial and lateral bundles entered the deep central forefoot compartment.
This tells us that in the rearfoot, the important neurology is in the muscles which help to invert the rearfoot, and help create supination. In the central forefoot, information is fed from the lateral and medial aspects of the foot tripod to the transverse head of the adductor longus. this muscle, when biomechanics are appropriate and the head of the 1st metatarsal is anchored, assists in supination. It seems all roads leaad to assisting in supination and propelling us forward in the gravitational plane…
Communication. Not just for interpersonal relationships : )
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Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, University Hospital of Cologne, Kerpener Str. 62, 50924, Cologne, Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recent publications have renewed the debate regarding the number of foot compartments. There is also no consensus regarding allocation of individual muscles and communication between compartments. The current study examines the anatomic topography of the foot compartments anew using 32 injections of epoxy-resin and subsequent sheet plastination in 12 cadaveric foot specimens. Six compartments were identified: dorsal, medial, lateral, superficial central, deep forefoot, and deep hindfoot compartments. Communication was evident between the deep hindfoot compartment and the superficial central and deep central forefoot compartments. In the hindfoot, the neurovascular bundles were located in separate tissue sheaths between the central hindfoot compartment and the medial compartment. In the forefoot, the medial and lateral bundles entered the deep central forefoot compartment. The deep central hindfoot compartment housed the quadratus plantae muscle, and after calcaneus fracture could develop an isolated compartment syndrome.
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