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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Human Anatomy in Cross Section: Section 7. Lower Limb

Atlas of Human Anatomy in Cross Section: Section 7. Lower Limb

Plate 7.10

Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Jean J. Jew, M.D., and Paul C. Reimann, B.S.
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed


Plate 7.10

Upper Left Quadrant

Lower Left Quadrant

Lower Right Quadrant

Upper Right Quadrant

1. Femur
2. Tendon m. quadriceps femoris
3. Alar plica
4. Transverse medial patellar retinaculum
5. Vastus medialis m. and tendon

6. Medial epicondyle
7. Sartorius m.
8. Great saphenous v.
9. Medial femoral condyle
10. Articular cavity
11. Tendon m. gracilis
12. Tendon m. semimembranosus
13. Tendon m. semitendinosus

14. Gastrocnemius m. and intercondylar fossa
15. Posterior femoral cutaneous nerve and small saphenous v.
16. Popliteal v. and a.
17. Common peroneal nerve
18. Lateral sural cutaneous nerve
19. Tibial nerve
20. Anterior cruciate ligament
21. Plantaris m.
22. Biceps femoris m.
23. Lateral condylar process

24. Lateral femoral epicondyle
25. Iliotibial tract (Maissiat's band)
26. Tendon m. vastus lateralis
27. Articular cavity
28. Patella

This section passes through the femoral condyles (6, 23) and the center of the patella (28).

Several important ligamentous structures are shown, including the iliotibial tract (25), anterior cruciate ligament (20) (for the first time), and the transverse medial patellar retinaculum (4). The large number of muscle tendons, including those of vastus lateralis (26), semitendinosus (13), semimembranosus (12), gracilis (11), vastus medialis (5), and the quadriceps femoris (2), are indicators of the proximity of the knee joint region.

The patella (28) is a large sesamoid bone related to those found in the hand and foot, which more closely in size resemble the sesame grain for which they are named. The patella consists of dense, spongy bone covered by a thin, compact layer of bone. The patella, by virtue of its position, performs the very important function of protecting the knee joint from injury. The patella's primary nutrient vessels are branches from the articular branch of the descending artery of the knee (descending genicular), the anterior tibial recurrent, and the articular rete of the knee.

The anterior cruciate ligament (20), seen for the first time in this cut, is very strong and cordlike. It is attached in the anterior intercondylar area of the tibia and to the lateral margin of the medial articular surface. It extends to the posterior part of the medial surface of the lateral condyle of the femur. It is fixed to the tibia posterior to the anterior extremity of the medial meniscus. Posteriorly and laterally is the anterior extremity of the lateral meniscus, from which some fibers blend with the lateral edge of the anterior cruciate ligament.

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