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Popliteus muscle

Origins, insertions, innervation and functions of the popliteus muscle.

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Hello, again, everyone! It’s Matt from Kenhub. And in this tutorial, we will discuss the popliteus muscle.

The popliteus muscle or in Latin, “musculus popliteus,” is a small muscle located at the knee joint.

It originates at the lateral condyle of the femur and the posterior horn of the lateral meniscus. From there, it runs medio-caudally towards the tibia and inserts above the origin of the soleus muscle and the course that lies within a compact fascia between the politeal fossa and the joint capsule secured by the arcuate popliteal ligament.

The innervation is supplied by the tibial nerve.

A general task of the popliteus muscle is to stabilize the dorsal knee region. By its inward rotation of the knee joint, it is responsible for reversing the so-called terminal rotation.

This refers to the locking of the tibia and femur during the knee extension by a slight outward rotation.

Furthermore, the muscle pulls the lateral meniscus dorsally during knee bending thus preventing its entrapment.

Even though the popliteus muscle anatomically ranks among the flexors of the thigh musculature, its ability to flex the knee is truly negligible.

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