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Flashcards in Popliteal fossa Deck (18):

What are the borders of the popliteal fossa formed by?

muscles of the posterior thigh and leg


Name the muscles forming the border of the popliteal fossa

superiomedial: semimembranosus
superiolateral: biceps femoris
inferomedial: medial head of gastrocnemius
inferolateral: lateral head of gastrocnemius & plantaris


What forms the floor and roof of the popliteal fossa?

floor: posterior knee joint capsule
roof: popliteal fascia & skin


significance of popliteal fascia?

continous with fascia lata of leg


name the contents of the popliteal fossa (medial to lateral)

popliteal artery
popliteal vein
tibial nerve
common fibular nerve (together forming sciatic nerve)


which is the most superficial structure within the popliteal fossa?

tibial & common fibular nerve


describe the anatomical course of travel of the common fibular nerve through the popliteal fossa

follows the biceps femoris tendon, along lateral margin of popliteal fossa


What is the popliteal fossa?

a diamond shape region posterior of the knee


Which structure pierces the popliteal fossa to enter it? Which structure does it join onto in the popliteal fossa?

small saphenous vein
empties into the popliteal vein


Which structure is the deepest within the popliteal fossa? What is it a continuation of and what is it's function?

the popliteal artery
continuous with the femoral artery
travels into leg & supply blood there


What are the clinical diagnosis that can happen in the popliteal fossa?

swelling in the popliteal fossa caused by the appearance of a mass in the popliteal fossa


What are the 2 major causes of a mass within the popliteal fossa?

1. baker's cyst
2. aneurysm of the popliteal artery


What is a baker's cyst (popliteal cyst)?
When does it arise?
How does it resolve?

inflammation & swelling of the semimembranosus bursa (fluid filled sac in knee joint)
usually arise in conjunction with rheumatoid or osteoarthritis
usually self resolve, but can produce symptoms similar to deep vein thrombosis


what is an aneurysm?

dilation of an artery, greater than 50% normal diameter


What causes the consequences of a popliteal aneurysm and why?

popliteal fascial layer - roof of popliteal fossa (tough, non-extensible layer)
an aneurysm within the popliteal fossa can cause damage to other contents within the fossa


Which content is particularly susceptible to damage within the popliteal fossa? How will it present?

tibial nerve - compression from popliteal artery
present as leg anaesthesia (numbness to the area) or loss of leg motor function


How is an aneurysm of the popliteal artery detected?

by an obvious palpable pulsation in the popliteal fossa - with abnormal arterial sounds


What are other causes of a popliteal mass?

deep vein thrombosis (clot in deep veins) , adventitial cyst of the popliteal artery (narrow / block blood flow)
various neoplasms - new growth of tissue (e.g. rhabdomyosarcoma)