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Popliteus

Other Terms: M.popliteus, Popliteal muscle, Musculus popliteus, Muscle poplité

Muscle parts

None

Latin name

Musculus popliteus

Latin muscle parts

None

Group

Crural muscle – posterior compartment – deep group

Etymology

The English name for this muscle is the muscle of the ham of the knee. The word popliteus comes from the Latin poples meaning “the ham of the knee.” This refers to the hollow part of the knee behind the knee joint.

Origin

Popliteal groove on the lateral surface of the lateral condyle of the femur, the lateral side of the lateral meniscus, and the arcuate popliteal ligament of the joint capsule of the knee.

Insertion

Triangular posterior surface of the tibia above the soleal line.

Action

Medially rotates tibia on the femur; unlocks the hyperextended knee, retracts the lateral meniscus to prevent it from getting crushed during knee flexion; reduces the load on the posterior cruciate ligament to help prevent anterior dislocation of the femur.

Nerve supply

Tibial nerve (L4, L5, and S1)

Blood supply

The muscle is supplied by direct muscular branches and the sural branches of the popliteal artery, the medial and lateral inferior genicular arteries, and the posterior tibial recurrent artery.

Latin

Musculus popliteus

French

Muscle poplité

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