Fascia

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Not to be confused with fassia, fuchsia, or fascism.
For other uses, see Fascia (disambiguation).
Fascia
Gray395.png
The rectus sheath, an example of a fascia.
Details
Latin fascia
Precursor mesenchyme
Identifiers
Gray's p.376
MeSH Fascia
Anatomical terminology

A fascia (/ˈfæʃə/, /ˈfæʃiə/; plural fasciae /ˈfæʃɨ.i/; adjective or fascial; from Latin: "band") is a layer of fibrous tissue.[1] A fascia is a structure of connective tissue that surrounds muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves, binding some structures together, while permitting others to slide smoothly over each other.[2] Various kinds of fascia may be distinguished. They are classified according to their distinct layers, their functions and their anatomical location: superficial fascia, deep (or muscle) fascia, and visceral (or parietal) fascia.

Like ligaments, aponeuroses, and tendons, fasciae are dense regular connective tissues, containing closely packed bundles of collagen fibers oriented in a wavy pattern parallel to the direction of pull. Fasciae are consequently flexible structures able to resist great unidirectional tension forces until the wavy pattern of fibers has been straightened out by the pulling force. These collagen fibers are produced by the fibroblasts located within the fascia.[2]

Fasciae are similar to ligaments and tendons as they are all made of collagen except that ligaments join one bone to another bone, tendons join muscle to bone and fasciae surround muscles or other structures.

Structure[edit]

There exists some controversy about what structures are considered "fascia", and how fascia should be classified.[3] The two most common systems are:

NA 1983 TA 1997 Description Example
Superficial fascia (not considered fascia in this system) This is found in the subcutis in most regions of the body, blending with the reticular layer of the dermis.[4] Fascia of Scarpa
Deep fascia Fascia of muscles This is the dense fibrous connective tissue that interpenetrates and surrounds the muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels of the body. Transversalis fascia
Visceral fascia Visceral fascia, parietal fascia This suspends the organs within their cavities and wraps them in layers of connective tissue membranes. Pericardium

Myofascia[edit]

Myofascia is defined as a layer of loose but strong connective tissue often containing fat covering and investing all muscles; an aponeurosis. The intrinsic connection between muscles and muscle fibers with connective tissue, fascia.

Function[edit]

Fasciae are normally thought of as passive structures that transmit mechanical tension generated by muscular activities or external forces throughout the body.

The function of muscle fasciae is to reduce friction to minimize the reduction of muscular force. In doing so, fasciae:

  1. Provide a sliding and gliding environment for muscles.[citation needed]
  2. Suspend organs in their proper place.[citation needed]
  3. Transmit movement from muscles to bones.[citation needed]
  4. Provide a supportive and movable wrapping for nerves and blood vessels as they pass through and between muscles.[5][need quotation to verify]

See also[edit]

This article uses anatomical terminology; for an overview, see anatomical terminology.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "fascia" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ a b Marieb, Elaine Nicpon; Hoehn, Katja (2007). Human anatomy & physiology. Pearson Education. p. 133. ISBN 978-0-321-37294-9. 
  3. ^ Committee on Anatomical Termi, Federative. Terminologia Anatomica: International Anatomical Terminology. Thieme Stuttgart. p. 33. ISBN 3-13-114361-4. 
  4. ^ Skandalakis, John E.; Skandalakis, P.N.; Skandalakis, L.J.; Skandalakis, J. (2002). Surgical Anatomy and Technique, 2nd Ed. Atlanta, GA: Springer. pp. 1–2. ISBN 0-387-98752-5. 
  5. ^ Faller, A; Schuenke, M (2004) The Human Body, Thieme, p 127

External links[edit]