The lateral condyle of the femur and the posterior horn of the lateral meniscus, from there itruns mediocaudally towards the tibia.
Popliteus courses diagonally across the posterior upper tibia and a portion of the joint capsule to lie as the deepest muscle of the posterior knee region.
Its tendon pierces the joint capsule but does not enter the synovium and is crossed by the arcuate ligament, the lateral collateral ligament and the tendon of biceps femoris.
The popliteus bursa, which is usually an extension of the synovial membrane, separates it from the lateral femoral condyle. An additional head of popliteus may arise from a sesamoidin Gastrocnemius’ lateral head and very rarely two other muscles may be present.
It is inserted just proximal to the soleal line but below the tibial condyles.
The popliteus muscle is supplied via fibers of the tibial nerve(L4-S1).
• During non weight bearing, it rotates tibia internally and initiates flexion (unlocking the knee). So it is called as a “key” muscle.
• During weight bearing position, it rotates femur laterally over the tibia.
• Prevents excessive posterior translation of tibia and thereby it helps PCL maintain stability.
• During knee flexion, it draws lateral meniscus posterior so it prevents it from injury.
• Krudwig et al consider the Popliteus as an important structure resisting excessive external tibial rotation and maintaining the neutral tibialrotation.
• Travell & Simons (1992) also note that the popliteus prevents forward displacement of the femur on
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