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Keywords:

  • hamstrings;
  • architecture;
  • compartments;
  • ultrasound;
  • muscle mechanics

ABSTRACT

A tendinous inscription divides the semitendinosus muscle in two parts and it may have an effect on its function. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of joint position and gender on the tendinous inscription morphology. Ultrasonography scans were taken from 76 young males and females at rest, in nine combinations of hip and knee joint angles. The length of the tendinous inscription arms and the angles formed by the two arms (apex angle), the tendinous inscription with the superficial (surface angle), and deep (deep angle) aponeurosis were determined. The tendinous inscription was clearly visible in 70 (out of 76) subjects. Analysis of variance designs showed that increasing hip flexion angle from 0 to 90° increased the long arm and muscle thickness but decreased the short tendinous inscription arm (P < 0.05). Changing knee flexion angle from 0 to 90° was accompanied by a longer tendinous inscription arm and an increased apex angle (P < 0.05). Long arm length and muscle thickness significantly increased from the shortest (hip 0° – knee 90°) to the longest muscle lengths (hip 0° – knee 90°). Males had a significantly higher surface, apex, and deep angle and a lower normalized tendinous inscription long arm than females (P < 0.05). These results indicate that the effect of the tendinous inscription (if any) on semitendinous muscle function depends on hip and knee joint angle while it may be gender dependent. J. Morphol. 275:57–64, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.