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Fascia

Fascia is a generic term that describes any sheath, sheet, or other dissectible mass of tissue that attaches, wraps, and/or separates the deep structures of the body

In general, there are two types of fascia:

  • Superficial fascia
  • Deep fascia

The superficial fascia (i.e. tela subcutanea, hypodermis, subcutaneous tissue) is used to describe the connective that separates the skin from the underlying muscle tissue

The deep fascia is a dense, organized, connective tissue located deep to the skin and subcutaneous tissue. It surrounds muscles, viscera and related structures. Depending on its location, there are several types of deep fascia. These include: 

  • Fasciae of muscles (i.e. fasciae musculorum)
  • Fasciae of body cavities (i.e. fasciae cavitatum trunci)

The main function of the fasciae is to protect and support deep structures and organs of the body. In addition, fasciae reduce friction between muscles, transmit movement from muscle to bones and sometimes serve as the attachment point for skeletal muscles.

Terminology Altrough they are widely used in English language, the terms superficial and deep fascia are no longer included in Terminologia Anatomica

Synonyms for superficial fascia
: tela subcutanea, subcutis, hypodermis
Synonyms for deep fascia
: fasciae of muscles (fasciae musculorum), fasciae of body cavities (fasciae cavitatum trunci)
Definition Sheath, sheet, or other dissectible mass of connective tissue that attaches, wraps, and/or separates the deep structures of the body
Function Provides support, protection, stabilization and attachment for tissues, organs and muscles.

Learn all about the integumentary system with the following study unit: 

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