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Abstract

Tenotomy of the proximal and distal tendons of the soleus muscle of female Wistar rats was performed and sarcomeric length and muscle fascicle length measured. On the first postoperative day muscle bellies were found shortened and their sarcomeric length considerably reduced. Four weeks following tenotomy, although the muscle bellies remained shortened, sar-comeric length was comparable with that of control muscles. Measurement of muscle fascicle lengths at this time showed that those of experimental muscles were nearly 50% less than those of control muscles. It was concluded from these experiments that a reduction of the number of sarcomeres in series had occurred, thus compensating for the reduced length of the muscle belly.