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The popliteus is the smallest as well as most superior of the deep muscles inside the posterior portion of the leg. Through preventing lateral (external) rotation of the tibia at the femur it uncovers the prolonged knee on the beginning of flexion and also stabilizes the knee. It is interjected inside a broad triangular zone over the soleal line at the posterior surface of the tibia creates portion of the floor of the popliteal fossa, and also is flat and triangular in shape.


The popliteus muscle emerges out of a tendon, which passes through the fibrous membrane of the joint capsule of the knee as well as rises laterally through the lower part of the knee.

The tendon rises laterally over the joint from where it enter in between the lateral meniscus as well as the fibrous membrane and after that inside a groove at the inferolateral part of the lateral femoral condyle. The tendon connects to as well as emerges via an indentation on the anterior end of the gouge.

Contraction of the popliteus laterally turns the femur upon the fixed tibia, opening the knee joint while initiating gait through a standing posture.


The popliteus muscle is supplied via fibers of the tibial nerve, direct through a section of the nerve towards the tibialis posterior muscle and also in some cases from a section via the main nerve towards the knee joint. These nerve fibers emerge through the fourth as well as fifth lumbar along with the first sacral spinal nerves to the popliteus muscle.

Functions and Actions

  • The popliteus muscle, as soon as the thigh is set but the leg is free to move, like whenever being seated upright, turns the tibia medially. This muscle turns the femur laterally over the tibia in order to “release” the knee joint, during weight supporting whenever the leg is set.
  • The popliteus muscle has a mechanical drawback when it comes to generating knee flexion because of the angulation of its fibers along with their closeness towards the axis of turning of the knee.
  • By having the leg free to move, the popliteus muscle is activated via deliberate effort in order to create medial rotation of the leg at knee angles in between knee straight as well as 90 ° of flexion in the being seated and also prone positions.

Popliteal Tendon

The popliteus together with the posteror cruciate ligament slows down forward shift of the femur over the flexed tibia while stance phase, particularly while running downhill. The popliteal tendon can be associated in the same manner with a tenosynovitis, tendinopathy, rupture, or avulsion. Tendinopathy as well as tenosynovitis may result from both hyperpronation as well as downhill running, particularly on banked surfaces.

Occasionally, a “meniscus tear” is actually a ripping of the popliteus tendon where it trails near the lateral margin of the lateral meniscus. Grip of the connection of the popliteus tendon towards the lateral femoral epicondyle is because of extreme internal tibial rotation.

The tendon can be damaged among an ACL or a posterolateral injury. This would most likely be interpreted by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

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