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Myotendinous Junction

The myotendinous junction is the interface between muscle and tendon, and it allows the force generated by muscle contraction to be exerted on the skeleton to enact limb locomotion. To maximize the junctional surface area, a region of highly folded membranes in a fingerlike arrangement exists.

This increases the surface area between the muscle and tendon by 10- to 20-fold, which considerably reduces the applied force per surface unit area during contraction. The increased surface area displaces stress, but in addition, the longitudinal arrangement of the membrane invaginations reorients stresses in a parallel orientation to the longitudinal axis of the muscle.

This orientation creates a shearing stress alignment rather than a tensile load alignment. Despite the well-developed molecular structure, the myotendinous junction remains the weak link in the muscle– tendon unit, making it more susceptible to injury and rupture compared to the muscle belly, tendon, or OTJ.

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