THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE CONNECTIVE TISSUE IN THE MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM
di Jaap van der Wal, MD, PhD
An Often Overlooked Functional Parameter as to Proprioception in the Locomotor Apparatus. The architecture of the connective tissue, including structures such as fasciae, sheaths, and membranes, is more important for understanding functional meaning than is more traditional anatomy, whose anatomical dissection method neglects and denies the continuity of the connective tissue as integrating matrix of the body.
The connective tissue anatomy and architecture exhibits two functional tendencies that are present in all areas of the body in different ways and relationships. In body cavities, the “disconnecting” quality of shaping space enables mobility; between organs and body parts, the “connecting” dimension enables functional mechanical interactions. In the musculoskeletal system, those two features of the connective tissue are also present. They cannot be found by the usual analytic dissection procedures. An architectural description is necessary.
This article uses such a methodologic approach and gives such a description for the lateral elbow region. The result is an alternative architectural view of the anatomic substrate involved in the transmission and conveyance of forces over synovial joints. An architectural description of the muscular and connective tissue organized in series with each other to enable the transmission of forces over these dynamic entities is more appropriate than is the classical concept of “passive” force-guiding structures such as ligaments organized in parallel to actively force-transmitting structures such as muscles with tendons.
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