A skeletal muscle consists of numerous muscle cells called muscle fibers. Three layers of connective tissues surround these fibers to form a muscle. These and other connective tissues associated with muscles follow:
- The endomysium is the connective tissue that surrounds each muscle fiber (cell).
- The perimysium encircles a group of muscle fibers, forming a fascicle.
- The epimysium encircles all the fascicles to form a complete muscle.
- A tendon is a cordlike extension of the preceding three linings. It extends beyond the muscle tissue to connect the muscle to a bone or to other muscles.
- An aponeurosis is a flat broad extension of the three muscle linings and serves the same function as a tendon.
- Fascia is a term for a layer or sheet of connective tissue.
- The deep fascia surrounds the epimysium and encloses or lines other nearby structures such as blood vessels, nerves, and the body wall.
- The superficial fascia (hypodermis or subcutaneous layer) lies immediately below the skin. The superficial fascia merges with the deep fascia where the surfaces of the skin meet.