Research Review: Histological Study of the Deep Fasciae of the Limbs


By William Chancey Sumner, PTA, MS, CES, CAFS, HMS, FRCms, c-PT

Edited by Brent Brookbush DPT, PT, COMT, MS, PES, CES, CSCS, ACSM H/FS


Original Citation: Stecco, C., Porzionato, A., Lancerotto, L., Stecco, A., Macchi, V., Day, J., De Caro, R. (2008). Histological Study of the Deep Fasciae of the Limbs. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 12, 225 - 230. ABSTRACT


The number of published research studies and popularity of fascia has increased exponentially in the past decade; however, there are still gaps in our understanding (1-7). New research has implicated that fascia may play a role in force transmission, proprioception and pain (1). This 2008 study by Italian researchers provides foundational information about fascial layers, vascular and neural networks, and organization. This information may aid the human movement professional in the development of fascia specific techniques and interventions.

Bodies World Exhibit - Iliotibial Band invest into the knee and <a id=anterior crural fascia"> Bodies World Exhibit - Iliotibial Band invest into the knee and anterior crural fascia (Image: courtesy of

Study Summary

Study DesignDescriptive study
Level of EvidenceIII Evidence from non-experimental descriptive studies, such as comparative studies, correlation studies and case-control studies
Participant CharacteristicsDemographics

  • Number of participants: 6 cadavers

    • 4 males
    • 2 females
    • Mean age = 69 years old

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Medical cadavers without trauma

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Traumatic lesions or pathologies of the limbs

72 samples of the deep fascia of the limbs were taken during 6 cadaveric dissections.

12 different samples of the same size (1 x 1.5cm) were obtained.

Three samples were taken from the following portions of the upper limbs and lower limbs:

  • Brachial fascia
  • Antebrachial fascia
  • Fascia Lata
  • Crural fascia

Histological and immunohistochemical stains were performed to aid in