Popliteus Muscle

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The popliteus muscle and its proximal attachments: Morphological variations, functions, and clinical implications

Overview:
The popliteus muscle (PM) is one of the deep posterior compartment musculature of the leg and the posterolateral structure of the knee, locates in the superior aspect of the leg and consists part of the popliteal fossa’s floor my book and Ullrich (2002). It is small, flat and triangular in shape, attaches distally on the posteriomedial aspect of the tibia superior to the soleal line siddharth et al (2014). It runs superiorly and laterally, penetrating the fibrous membrane of the knee joint by its tendon my book. The popliteus tendon (PT) passes between the fibrous membrane and the lateral meniscus (LM) toward the lateral
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In regard to the primary attachment on the lateral femoral condyle, LaPrade et al (2003) reported that the PT always attaches anterior to the LCL and at the anterior end of the popliteal sulcus. Dissimilarly, Brinkman et al (2005) and Zeng (2011) found the PT femoral attachment may locate dorsally, beneath or ventrally to the LCL (Table 1).

The existence of the poplitofibular ligament (PFL), which attaches the PT to the head of fibula, is variable. The PFL was found in all knee specimens and considered to be constant attachment in a study done by Wadia et al (2003). Ishigooka et al (2004) identified the PFL in all 78 knees, and it was classified as type one or type two PFL according to the number of layers. Similarly, in Zeng et al (2011) study the PFL was present in all cases and recognized as ligament or fascia in 87.7% and 12.3% of the knees, respectively. In addition, Feipel et al (2003) observed the PFL in 98% of 42 specimens. Nevertheless, in a dissection study on 50 cadaveric knees conducted by Kim et al (1997), the PFL was only present in 37.5% of the
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In particular, its relationship to lateral femoral condyle, lateral meniscus and fibular head. In addition, the functional role of some of these connections was examined. After distracting the skin and the superficial structures on the posterior and lateral aspect of the knee, the lateral collateral ligament was recognized and inserted proximally on the lateral femoral condyle, and distally on the fibular head. The popliteus muscle was observed on the superoposterior area of the tibia. Its fibers run up and lateral in an oblique orientation toward the lateral condyle of the femur. On the lateral condyle of the femur, the poplitues tendon inserted inferior and beneath the LCL (Figure 1). This finding concurs the data reported by Zeng et al (2011), and in contrast with the findings of LaPrade et al (2003) and Brinkman et al (2005).

The PFL is also identified connecting the popliteal musculotendon junction to the head of fibula (Figure 1). In our case, the PFL was found as a ligament, similarly to one of the classifications presented by Zeng et al (2011). Moreover, Ishgooka et al (2004) classified the PFL whether it consists of one or two layers. In our specimen, the PFL was compromised of one layer.
The meniscopopliteal fascicles were distinguished in studies by Ullrich et al (2002) and Feiple (2003). However, in our case the meniscopopliteal attachments were difficult

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