gms | German Medical Science

7th EFSMA – European Congress of Sports Medicine, 3rd Central European Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Annual Assembly of the German and the Austrian Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Austrian Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

26.-29.10.2011, Salzburg, Österreich

Anatomical variations of the vastus medialis muscle

Meeting Abstract

Suche in Medline nach

7th EFSMA – European Congress of Sports Medicine, 3rd Central European Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Salzburg, 26.-29.10.2011. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2011. Doc11esm051

doi: 10.3205/11esm051, urn:nbn:de:0183-11esm0513

Veröffentlicht: 24. Oktober 2011

© 2011 Konin et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen ( Er darf vervielf&aauml;ltigt, verbreitet und &oauml;ffentlich zug&aauml;nglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.



Objective: A lack of standardization and agreement toward the approach of patellofemoral assessment and interventions lead to a plethora of unsubstantiated outcomes. It was hypothesized that the anatomical location of the vastus medialis oblique plays a determinant role. Thus, the objective of this study was to identify the anatomical location of the vastus medialis muscle insertion into the patella.

Material/Methods: Fourteen (14) cadavers were measured (28 knees total) for accessibility of the Vastus Medialis Obliquuis (VMO)Muscle insertion. Subjects were of equal gender comprising 7 each. Most cadavers required cutting of fascia, adipose, and other tissues for identifying purposes of the actual attachment site. Two independent investigators were trained to take measurements from the apex of the patella to the most distal VMO fibers (cm) at a perpendicular intersection. The Intra-rater reliability ICC = .79 (>.75=good) was established.

Results: Descriptive statistics were used to compare the attachment sites amongst cadaveric specimens. Variations of up to 5mm for both male and female cadavers were noted related to the overall distal length (Average right male VMO: 18.3 mm, average left male VMO: 18.9 mm; Average right female VMO: 18.4 mm, Average left female VMO: 17.3 mm. The VMO to the patella ration was also measured with only smaller differences in variation (Male VMO to patella ratio: Right 0.34:1 mm, Left 0.38:1 mm; Female VMO to patella ratio: Right 0.37:1 mm, Left 0.35:1 mm.

Conclusion: Successful rehabilitation for patellofemoral conditions has been reported as a quandary by sports medicine practitioners. One multi-factorial dilemma often discussed contributing to the challenge of decreasing a person’s knee pain is the VMO muscle attachment site, firing pattern, and frequent atrophy. The purpose of this study was to assess any varying muscle attachment patterns as a possible explanation of rehabilitation success versus failure. Our findings indicate that there are no clear differences between males and females, or left versus right, on average, for the VMO insertion. Limitations of this study include the age of the cadavers, the difficulty in identifying the exact location of the fiber insertion, and the overall condition of the cadavers versus actual in vivo tissue measurements. Future studies of this are encouraged to determine if there are clinical implications related to the vasti attachment that may be able to predict successful outcomes.


Colvin AC, West RV. Patellar instability [abstract]. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2008;90(12):2751-62.
Lin YF, Lin JJ, Jan MH, Wei TC, Shih HY, Cheng CK. Role of the vastus medialis obliquus in repositioning the patella: a dynamic computed tomography study [abstract]. AM J Sports Med. 2008;36(4):741-6.
Watanabe N, Narita W, Namura T, Ito H, Nishimura T, Kubo T. Anatomical assessment of the vastus medialis oblique muscle in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee [abstract]. J Arthroplasty. 2008;23(2):287-92.