Popliteofibular ligament

Dr Henry Knipe and Dr Joachim Feger et al.

The popliteofibular ligament (PFL) belongs to the lateral supporting structures of the knee and is one of the three primary stabilizers of the posterolateral corner 1-6.

Gross anatomy

It is a flattened, thick, and fan-shaped structure of the width of the popliteus muscle and two divisions 1. It takes a proximal oblique and distal vertical more vertical course 3,4 at an angle of about 60° in relation to the popliteus muscle 4.

It is a restraint to posterior translation and provides posterolateral and in particular external rotatory stability 3,5. More recent studies look at the function of the popliteofibular ligament more as a part of the popliteus tendon complex than as independent 6.


The proximal origin encompasses the musculotendinous junction of the popliteus muscle 1,2.

Distally the popliteofibular ligament inserts at the anteromedial downslope, the tip, and the posteromedial aspect of the fibular styloid process 1,2.

Related pathology

Article information

rID: 77496
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Popliteofibular ligament (PFL)

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