UAMS Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences - Fascia and Membrane Tables

Gross Anatomy


Fasciae and Aponeuroses - Organized by Region

Copyright 2009, Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences



Back Thorax Abdomen Pelvis and Perineum Upper Limb Lower Limb Head and Neck


Fasciae of the Back Region - Arranged Alphabetically

Structure Location/Description Notes
fascia, infraspinatus deep fascia covering the superficial surface of the infraspinatus m. infraspinatus fascia attaches to the spine of the scapula and the posterior surface of the scapula at the margins of the infraspinatus fossa; it is a strong origin for the infraspinatus m.
fascia, nuchal deep fascia covering the muscles of the posterior neck nuchal fascia is part of the prevertebral layer of deep cervical fascia
fascia, thoracolumbar deep fascia surrounding the erector spinae muscle mass thoracolumbar fascia in lumbar regions serves as an origin for the latissimus dorsi m.


Fasciae of the Upper Limb - Arranged Alphabetically

Structure Location/Description Notes
bicipital aponeurosis an extension of the tendon of the biceps brachii m. what blends with the antebrachial fascia on the medial side of the antecubital fossa bicipital aponeurosis is an important structure to phlebotomists because it is superficial to the brachial artery and median nerve, but deep to the superficial veins of the upper limb - this provides some protection for the deeper structures during venipuncture
costocoracoid membrane deep fascia extending from the clavicle to the superior border of the pectoralis minor m. costocoracoid membrane is named for its medial (ribs) and lateral (coracoid process of the scapula) attachments; it is penetrated by three structures: cephalic v., thoracoacromial a. and lateral pectoral n.
extensor retinaculum a thickening of the deep fascia on the dorsum of the wrist extensor retinaculum is attached to the bones of the dorsum of the wrist in several locations, resulting in compartments which separate and anchor the extensor tendons; tendons are surrounded by synovial tendon sheathes where they pass deep to retinacula
fascia, antebrachial deep fascia which forms a tubular investment of the forearm muscles antebrachial fascia is attached to the radius via the lateral intermuscular septum; it is attached to the subcutaneous border of the ulna
fascia, axillary deep fascia which forms the floor of the axilla inferiorly axillary fascia is attached to the suspensory ligament of the axilla; it is continuous with the pectoral fascia
fascia, brachial deep fascia which forms a tubular investment of the arm brachial fascia is attached to the humerus via medial and lateral intermuscular septae
fascia, clavipectoral a layer of deep fascia attaching to the clavicle superiorly and the axillary fascia inferiorly clavipectoral fascia has several named subdivisions: it surrounds the subclavius m. and is thickened inferior to the muscle where it is called the costocoracoid ligament; clavipectoral fascia extends inferiorly to the from the costocoracoid membrane to the pectoralis minor m., a part which is called the costocoracoid membrane (pierced by cephalic v., lateral pectoral n., thoracoacromial a.); it encloses the pectoralis minor m. then continues inferolaterally to attach to the axillary fascia, a part which is called the suspensory ligament of the axilla
fascia, hypothenar fascia covering the hypothenar muscle group hypothenar fascia blends with the palmar aponeurosis and attaches to the fifth metacarpal bone; it defines the hypothenar compartment of the hand
fascia, thenar fascia covering the thenar muscle group thenar fascia blends with the palmar aponeurosis and attaches to the first metacarpal bone it defines the thenar compartment of the hand
flexor retinaculum a thickening of the deep fascia on the ventral surface of the wrist flexor retinaculum spans the ventral surfaces of the carpal bones (medially - scaphoid and trapezium; laterally - hamate and pisiform) to complete an osseofibrous tunnel for passage of the flexor tendons; tendons are surrounded by synovial tendon sheathes where they pass deep to retinacula
palmar aponeurosis a thickening of the deep fascia covering the palm of the hand palmar aponeurosis is composed of very dense connective tissue that extends out into each of the fingers
palmar carpal ligament a thickening of the antebrachial fascia on the ventral surface of the wrist palmar carpal ligament is a retinaculum that supports the tendons of the superficial flexor mm.; it is superficial and proximal to the flexor retinaculum of the wrist


Fasciae of the Head and Neck - Arranged Alphabetically

Structure Location/Description Notes
fascia, alar anterior lamina of the prevertebral fascia, attaching anteriorly to visceral fascia behind esophagus in the superior thorax alar fascia separates the retropharyngeal space above from the posterior mediastinum below
fascia, buccopharyngeal posterior part of the visceral fascia of the neck buccopharyngeal fascia lies behind the pharynx and esophagus
bulbar sheath fascia that invests the entire eyeball except for the cornea bulbar sheath separates the eyeball from the surrounding orbital structures (fat, etc.); it is fused with the sheath of the optic nerve posteriorly, and it is penetrated by the tendons of the extraocular mm.
fascia, infrahyoid deep fascia covering the infrahyoid muscles infrahyoid fascia is composed of two layers: a superficial layer associated with the sternohyoid and omohyoid mm. and a deep layer associated with the sterhothyroid and thyrohoid mm.
fascia, masseteric fascia surrounding the masseter m. masseteric fascia attaches to the zygomatic arch superiorly and to the mandible inferiorly
fascia, palpebral part of the orbital septum within the eyelid superior and inferior palpebral fasciae can be identified; these are subunits of the orbital septum; the superior palpebral fascia is penetrated by the tendon of the levator palpebrae superioris m.
fascia, parotid fascia surrounding the parotid gland parotid fascia is an extension onto the face of the superficial layer of deep cervical fascia; it is very dense, extends into the parotid gland and is very difficult to dissect
fascia, pharyngobasilar submucosa of the pharynx pharyngobasilar fascia is attached to the base of skull and is best seen above the superior edge of the superior pharyngeal constrictor m.
fascia, pretracheal anterior part of the visceral fascia of the neck pretracheal fascia covers the larynx,/trachea and thyroid gland
fascia, prevertebral deep fascia surrounding vertebral column and associated muscles prevertebral fascia covers the scalene mm. where it is called scalene fascia
fascia, pterygoid fascia that surrounds the pterygoid mm. pterygoid fascia attaches to the pterygoid plates
fascia, scalene part of the prevertebral fascia covering the scalene mm. reinforces the cervical pleura (known there as Sibson's fascia) and extends out onto the ventral primary rami of spinal nn. C5-T1 as the axillary fascia
fascia, superficial layer of deep cervical deep fascia investing all of the deep neck structures superficial layer of deep cervical fascia extends between the trapezius m. and sternocleidomastoid m.. in the posterior cervical triangle and between the paired sternocleidomastoid mm. in the anterior cervical triangle
fascia, temporal a strong aponeurotic sheet of fascia that covers the superficial surface of the temporalis m. temporal fascia is an origin for the temporalis m.; it attaches to the bones of the skull superiorly and to the zygomatic arch inferiorly
fascia, visceral deep fascia enclosing the visceral structures of the neck (thyroid gland, larynx, trachea, esophagus) the anterior part is also known as pretracheal fascia; the posterior part also known as buccopharyngeal fascia
orbital septum a plane of connective tissue that separates the superficial part of the eyelid from the orbit orbital septum attaches to the periosteum at the margins of the orbit; orbital septum and tarsal plate form a complete layer posterior to the orbicularis oculi m. that prevents blood and fluids from passing superficially or deeply across the eyelid; blunt trauma to the forehead and scalp may result in blood pooling in the superficial part of the eyelid because of this septum
periorbita fascia that lines the orbit periorbita is the periosteum of the orbit; it is loosely attached to the bones of the orbit and is easily dissected from them


Fasciae of the Thorax - Arranged Alphabetically

Structure Location/Description Notes
fascia, endothoracic connective tissue lining the inner aspect of the chest wall

endothoracic fascia is located between the parietal pleura and the muscles and bones of the thoracic wall; it is equivalent to the transversalis fascia layer of the abdomen

fascia, Sibson's part of the scalene fascia that lines the cervical parietal pleura Sibson's fascia anchors the dome of cervical pleura; it is continuous with the endothoracic fascia at the level of the first rib


Fasciae of the Abdomen - Arranged Alphabetically

Structure Location/Description Notes
fascia, iliacus part of the transversalis fascia that covers the iliacus m. the lateral femoral cutaneous n. and the femoral n. course inferiorly in this fascial plane
fascia, periureteric fascia that surrounds the ureter periureteric fascia extends inferiorly along the ureter from the renal pelvis; it attaches the ureter to the peritoneum
fascia, psoas part of the transversalis fascia that covers the psoas mm. the genital branch of the genitofemoral n. passes inferiorly within this fascial plane
fascia, quadratus lumborum part of the transversalis fascia that covers the quadratus lumborum m. the subcostal, iliohypogastric and ilioinguinal nn. course inferiorly in this fascial plane
fascia, renal a fascial pouch derived from extraperitoneal connective tissue that contains the kidneys, the suprarenal glands, the renal vessels and perirenal fat renal fascia of the right and left sides is joined across the midline in close relationship to the renal aa. and vv.; renal fascia encapsulates the inferior vena cava and aorta at the level of origin of the renal vessels; do not confuse renal fascia with the renal capsule - the renal capsule is histologically part of the kidney and there is no fat between it and the kidney
fascia, transversalis the deep fascia lining the inner surface of the abdominal wall transversalis fascia covers the inner surface of the muscles of the anterior, lateral and posterior abdominal walls; where it covers the psoas mm. it is called psoas fascia; where it covers the quadratus lumborum m. it is called quadratus lumborum fascia


Fasciae of the Pelvis & Perineum - Arranged Alphabetically

Structure Location/Description Notes
fascia, cremasteric intermediate covering layer of the spermatic cord derived from the internal abdominal oblique muscle
fascia, deep penile/clitoral an extension of the muscular fascia of the ischiocavernosus m. and bulbospongiosus m. onto the shaft of penis/clitoris deep fascia of the penis/clitoris forms a tubular sheath surrounding the erectile bodies, dorsal n. of the penis/clitoris, dorsal a. of the penis/clitoris, deep dorsal v. of the penis/clitoris; the superficial dorsal v. of penis/clitoris lies superficial to the deep fascia of the penis/clitoris; deep fascia of the penis is also known as: Buck's fascia
fascia, endopelvic fascia within the true pelvis that supports the pelvic viscera endopelvic fascia is continuous with the extraperitoneal connective tissue and with the superior fascia of the pelvic diaphragm
fascia, external spermatic outermost covering of the spermatic cord that is derived from a layer of the abdominal wall derived from the aponeurosis of the external abdominal oblique muscle
fascia, inferior, of the pelvic diaphragm an extension of the obturator internus fascia covering the inferior surface of the pelvic diaphragm inferior fascia of the pelvic diaphragm is the superior boundary of the ischioanal fossa
fascia, internal spermatic innermost covering of the spermatic cord derived from the transversalis fascia
fascia, obturator fascia covering the obturator internus m. obturator fascia attaches to the margin of the obturator foramen; it has a thickening (arcus tendineus m. levatoris ani) that is the origin of the iliococcygeus portion of the pelvic diaphragm
fascia, superior, of the pelvic diaphragm an extension of the transversalis fascia covering the superior surface of the pelvic diaphragm superior fascia of the pelvic diaphragm is continuous with the iliacus fascia and covers the anterior surface of the piriformis m.


Fasciae of the Lower Limb - Arranged Alphabetically

Structure Location/Description Notes
fascia, crural deep fascia forming a tubular investment of the leg crural fascia is continuous with fascia lata at the knee; it is connected to the fibula by anterior and posterior intermuscular septa; it is thickened near the ankle to form extensor and flexor retinacula
fascia, gluteal deep fascia covering the gluteus medius m. and the gluteus maximus m. also known as: gluteal aponeurosis
fascia lata deep fascia forming a tubular investment of the thigh fascia lata is thickened along the lateral intermuscular septum of the thigh where it is called the iliotibial tract/band; fascia lata is connected to the femur by the lateral and medial intermuscular septa; scarpa's fascia attaches to fascia lata below the inguinal ligament
fascia, pedal deep fascia forming the investment of the foot pedal fascia is thin superiorly and thick over the sole, where it is called plantar fascia
fascia, plantar fascia of the sole of the foot plantar fascia is thickened over the central part of the sole to form the plantar aponeurosis
fascia, popliteal deep fascia forming a roof over the popliteal fossa the most superficial content of the popliteal fossa is the tibial nerve, which lies immediately deep to the popliteal fascia


Some of the material presented in these tables is contained in the book:
MedCharts Anatomy by Thomas R. Gest and Jaye Schlesinger
Published by ILOC, Inc., New York. Copyright 1995.

The content of these tables has been edited for use in this course by Patrick W. Tank, Ph.D.
Copyright 2009, Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Unauthorized use is prohibited.




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