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The popliteal fossa (sometimes referred to as the hough[1], or kneepit in analogy to the armpit) is a shallow depression located at the back of the knee joint. The bones of the popliteal fossa are the femur and the tibia. Like other flexion surfaces of large joints (groin, armpit, cubital fossa and essentially the anterior part of the neck), it is an area where blood vessels and nerves pass relatively superficially, and with an increased amount of lymph nodes.

Popliteal fossa
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Lateral aspect of right leg
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Lymph glands of popliteal fossa
Details
Identifiers
LatinFossa poplitea
TAA01.2.08.013
Anatomical terminology

Contents

BoundariesEdit

The boundaries of the fossa are:[1]

  Medial Lateral
Superior superior and medial:
the semimembranosus & semitendinosus muscles
superior and lateral:
the biceps femoris muscle
Inferior inferior and medial:
the medial head of the gastrocnemius muscle
inferior and lateral:
the lateral head of the gastrocnemius muscle and plantaris muscle

RoofEdit

The roof is formed by (from superficial to deep):[1]

  1. skin
  2. superficial fascia, which contains the small saphenous vein, the terminal branch of the posterior cutaneous nerve of the thigh, posterior division of the medial cutaneous nerve, lateral sural cutaneous nerve, and medial sural cutaneous nerve
  3. deep fascia or popliteal fascia

FloorEdit

The floor is formed by:[1]

  1. the popliteal surface of the femur
  2. the capsule of the knee joint and the oblique popliteal ligament
  3. strong fascia covering the popliteus muscle

ContentsEdit

Structures within the popliteal fossa include, (from superficial to deep):[1]

It is of note that the common fibular nerve also begins at the superior angle of the popliteal fossa.[3]

Additional imagesEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Buckenmaier III C; Bleckner L (2008). "Chapter 20: Popliteal nerve block" (PDF). The Military Advanced Regional Anesthesia and Analgesia Handbook. Rockville, Maryland: Defense & Veterans Pain Management Initiative (DVPMI). Retrieved 2011-06-08.
  2. ^ a b c Clinically Oriented Anatomy by Moore, 6th edition
  3. ^ http://teachmeanatomy.info/lower-limb/areas/popliteal-fossa/

External linksEdit