Evidence on epimuscular myofascial force transmission (EMFT) was shown for undissected muscle in situ. We hypothesize that global length changes of gastrocnemius muscle-tendon complex in vivo will cause sizable and heterogeneous local strains within all muscles of the human lower leg. Our goal is to test this hypothesis. A method was developed and validated using high-resolution 3D magnetic resonance image sets and Demons nonrigid registration algorithm for performing large deformation analyses. Calculation of strain tensors per voxel in human muscles in vivo allowed quantifying local heterogeneous tissue deformations and volume changes. After hip and knee movement (D knee angle ∼ 25 deg) but without any ankle movement, local lengthening within m. gastrocnemius was shown to occur simultaneously with local shortening (maximally by +34.2% and -32.6%, respectively) at different locations. Moreover, similar local strains occur also within other muscles, despite being kept at constant muscle-tendon complex length. This is shown for synergistic m. soleus and deep flexors, as well as for antagonistic anterior crural and peroneal muscle groups: minimum peak lengthening and shortening equaled 23.3% and 25.54%, respectively despite global isometric conditions. These findings confirm our hypothesis and show that in vivo, muscles are in principle not independent mechanically. Copyright © 2013 by ASME.
Yaman, A., Ozturk, C., Huijing, P. A. J. B. M., & Yucesoy, C. A. (2013). Magnetic Resonance Imaging Assessment of Mechanical Interactions Between Human Lower Leg Muscles in vivo. European Journal of Industrial Engineering, 135(9), 1-9. . https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4024573