monkey muscle
 n.— «The symptoms you describe are most likely the result of a tear in the one of the two heads of the main calf muscle—the gastrocnemius. This is also known as a “torn monkey muscle” injury, for reasons I don’t quite understand.» —“Muscle tears recover, but slowly” by Linda Calabresi The Australian (Sydney) Aug. 4, 2007. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  1. Lynn Wright says:

    The monkey muscle, so called, is more likely to be the plantaris muscle, which is located between the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles.
    “It has a small fleshy part and a very long ribbon-like tendon. It arises near the lateral head of the Gastrocnemius and it is inserted along the medial side of the tendo calcaneus [Achillis/Achilles tendon].
    In lower mammals it is a large muscle whose tendon runs in a groove behind the calcaneus [Achilles tendon] on its way to the toes, which it flexes. In man its sural [calf] part is vestigial and, like its homologue, the Palmaris [in the forearm], is variable and sometimes absent.” – Grant’s Method of Anatomy (9th Edn).
    (As it happens, I know that I lack a palmaris muscle).
    – L. J. Wright, Physiotherapist, NSW, Australia. E-mail address:

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