Citation, DOI, disclosures and article data
At the time the article was created Craig Hacking had no recorded disclosures.View Craig Hacking's current disclosures
The popliteal fossa (plural: fossae) is a diamond or rhomboid-shaped fat-filled space in the posterior knee. The space is extremely dynamic, allowing for its neurovascular contents to move during the extreme range of motion produced by knee flexion and extension.
superolateral: medial border of biceps femoris muscle
inferolateral: medial border of the lateral head of gastrocnemius
inferomedial: lateral border of the medial head of gastrocnemius
roof: skin, subcutaneous tissue, fascia lata
See the mnemonic here.
popliteal vein: in between the artery and tibial nerve
short saphenous vein: ascends and pierces the roof to enter the popliteal vein in the lower half of the fossa before joining the popliteal vein
common fibular (peroneal) nerve: runs along the lateral border, giving off the lateral cutaneous branch of the sural nerve which descends to pierce the roof in the lateral fossa gives off a communicating branch which unites with the medial branch (from the tibial nerve) to form the sural nerve4
posterior femoral cutaneous nerve: descends and pierces the roof
articular branch of obturator nerve 4
popliteal lymph nodes
a variable number of bursae 4
At all levels, the popliteal vein is found between the popliteal artery and the tibial nerve 2.
- 1. Moore KL, Dalley AF. Anatomy. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (1999) ISBN:0683061410. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 2. Mcminn. Last's Anatomy. Elsevier Australia. (2003) ISBN:0729537528. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 3. Butler P, Mitchell A, Healy JC. Applied Radiological Anatomy. Cambridge University Press. (2012) ISBN:0521766664. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 4. Susan Standring. Gray's Anatomy. (2020) ISBN: 9780702077050 - Google Books