Popliteus muscle

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 02 Aug 2021

The popliteus is the smallest and most superior muscle of the deep posterior compartment of the leg.


  • origin: lateral femoral condyle
  • insertion: posterior surface of proximal tibia
  • action
    • stabilizes knee joint (resists lateral rotation of tibia on femur)
    • unlocks knee joint (laterally rotates femur on fixed tibia)
  • arterial supplypopliteal artery
  • innervationtibial nerve

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: knee ligaments (Gray's illustrations)
    Drag here to reorder.