Dr. Amol Saxena, DPM
Palo Alto Foundation
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Dept. of Sports Medicine
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Dr. Amol Saxena, DPM


The Incidence of the Plantaris Tendon - Magnetic Resonance, Surgical and Cadaver Findings

Published in: Foot & Ankle International, July 2000
Department of Sports Medicine
Palo Alto Medical Foundation
795 El Camino Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Daniel Bareither, Ph.D.
Eric Jamrok, DPM 11/30/99

The Incidence of the Plantaris Tendon – Magnetic Resonance, Surgical and Cadaver Findings


A retrospective review of 63 Magnetic Resonance Image studies (86 ankles) was conducted to find the incidence of the plantaris tendon. Radiographically, the plantaris tendon was visualized 62.8% of the time. Confirmation of the presence of this tendon during 18 surgical procedures on the achilles tendon yielded 13 "true positives" and 4 "true negatives". Sensitivity was 92.8%; specificity and positive predictive value was 100%, respectively. Forty cadaveric specimens were evaluated by dissection, with the incidence of the plantaris found to be 97.5%. These findings may be useful when considering MRIs as a screening tool for the presence of plantaris tendon. When axial images were 4 mm or less, the plantaris tendon was more easily visualized. A Chi-squared test examining for differences of axial sections greater than 4 mm was not significant. (P=0.2). This is important if one is to use MRI to screen for the plantaris tendon (for graft purposes).

Key words: Achilles Tendon, Plantaris Tendon, Autologous graft.

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