Soleus Muscle Anatomy

Overview
Origin Head of fibula & posterior surface of fibula
Soleal line & medial border of tibia
Insertion Posterior surface of the calcaneus via the calcaneal tendon
Action Plantarflexes foot at ankle joint
Nerve Tibial nerve (S1- S2)
Artery Popliteal artery
Fibular artery
Posterior tibial artery

Location

The soleus muscle is a muscle of the posterior lower leg. It is large and flat located deep to the gastrocnemius muscle. It is one of the duo of muscles referred to as the ‘calf muscles’. The official anatomical term for the calf muscles is the ‘triceps surae’. The triceps surae is comprised of the gastrocnemius muscle and of course the soleus muscle. Some people also consider the plantaris muscle as part of the calf muscles. The muscle bellies of the soleus and gastrocnemius muscle merge together to form the calcaneal tendon (i.e. the achilles tendon) as they approach the foot [1]Binstead JT, Munjal A, Varacallo M. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Calf. [Updated 2021 Jun 3]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: … Continue reading [2]Kimura N, Kato K, Anetai H, Kawasaki Y, Miyaki T, Kudoh H, Sakai T, Ichimura K. Anatomical study of the soleus: Application to improved imaging diagnoses. Clin Anat. 2021 Oct;34(7):991-1001. doi: … Continue reading.

Origin & Insertion

The soleus muscle originates from the head of fibula, posterior surface of fibula, soleal line, and the medial border of tibia. As the soleus passes distally down the lower leg it merges with the gastrocnemius muscle to form the calcaneal tendon which is also known as the Achilles tendon. It then inserts on the posterior surface of the calcaneus via this calcaneal tendon [3]Mostafa E, Graefe S, Varacallo M. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Leg Posterior Compartment. [Updated 2021 Jun 3]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 … Continue reading [4]Moore KL, Agur AMR, Dalley AF. Clinically Oriented Anatomy. 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincot Williams & Wilkins; 2017. [5]Binstead JT, Munjal A, Varacallo M. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Calf. [Updated 2021 Jun 3]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: … Continue reading.

Actions

The soleus muscle is able to cause plantarflexion at the ankle joint. Plantarflexion involves extending the ankle joint (hinging the ankle joint away from the body or going onto your tip toes). The soleus works together with the other calf muscles in activities like running and jumping where [6]Mostafa E, Graefe S, Varacallo M. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Leg Posterior Compartment. [Updated 2021 Jun 3]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 … Continue reading [7]Moore KL, Agur AMR, Dalley AF. Clinically Oriented Anatomy. 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincot Williams & Wilkins; 2017. [8]Binstead JT, Munjal A, Varacallo M. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Calf. [Updated 2021 Jun 3]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: … Continue reading.

Innervation

The soleus muscle is innervated by the tibial nerve (S1- S2). This nerve is the larger branch of the sciatic nerve which divides into the tibial nerve. It also provides innervation for other muscles of the posterior lower leg compartment (e.g the gastrocnemius and the plantaris) [9]Binstead JT, Munjal A, Varacallo M. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Calf. [Updated 2021 Jun 3]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: … Continue reading.

Blood Supply

Blood is supplied to the soleus muscle via the popliteal, fibular and posterior tibial arteries [10]Fathi M, Hassanzad Azar M, Arab Kheradmand A, Shahidi S. Anatomy of arterial supply of the soleus muscle. Acta Med Iran. 2011;49(4):237-40. PMID: 21713734..

Images

soleus muscle

Here we can see pictured the soleus muscle in isolation.

origin of the soleus muscle highlighted in red

Here we can see the origin of the soleus muscle highlighted in red. The soleus originates from the head of fibula, posterior surface of fibula, soleal line of the tibia and the medial border of tibia.

insertion of the soleus muscle highlighted in blue

Here we can see the insertion of the soleus muscle highlighted in blue. The soleus inserts on the posterior surface of the calcaneus via the calcaneal tendon (also known as the Achilles tendon).

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Soleus Flashcards

References

References
1, 5, 8, 9 Binstead JT, Munjal A, Varacallo M. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Calf. [Updated 2021 Jun 3]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459362/
2 Kimura N, Kato K, Anetai H, Kawasaki Y, Miyaki T, Kudoh H, Sakai T, Ichimura K. Anatomical study of the soleus: Application to improved imaging diagnoses. Clin Anat. 2021 Oct;34(7):991-1001. doi: 10.1002/ca.23667. Epub 2020 Sep 2. PMID: 32783229.
3, 6 Mostafa E, Graefe S, Varacallo M. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Leg Posterior Compartment. [Updated 2021 Jun 3]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537340/
4, 7 Moore KL, Agur AMR, Dalley AF. Clinically Oriented Anatomy. 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincot Williams & Wilkins; 2017.
10 Fathi M, Hassanzad Azar M, Arab Kheradmand A, Shahidi S. Anatomy of arterial supply of the soleus muscle. Acta Med Iran. 2011;49(4):237-40. PMID: 21713734.