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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 7.13

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 7.13

Upper Left Quadrant

Lower Left Quadrant

Lower Right Quadrant

Upper Right Quadrant

1. Intercondylar eminence
2. Medial patellar retinaculum
3. Inferior articular surface, tibia
4. Transverse ligament of knee

5. Tibial collateral ligament (first appearance)
6. Medial femoral condyle
7. Medial meniscus
8. Great saphenous v.
9. Sartorius m.
10. Tendon m. gracilis
11. Tendons mm. semitendinosus and semimembranosus
12. Transverse and posterior cruciate ligaments
13. Gastrocnemius m. (medial head)
14. Articular capsule

15. Popliteal v. and a.
16. Sural cutaneous nerves
17. Tibial nerve
18. Gastrocnemius m. (lateral head)
19. Lateral sural nerve
20. Plantaris m.
21. Common peroneal nerve
22. Biceps femoris m. and tendon
23. Posterior intercondylar area and fibular collateral ligament
24. Iliotibial tract (Maissiat's band)

25. Lateral femoral condyle
26. Lateral meniscus
27. Lateral border, joint cavity
28. Iliotibial tract
29. Lateral patellar ligament
30. Anterior cruciate ligament
31. Patellar tendon

This section passes through the knee joint at the level of the tibial superior articular surface, the base of the intercondylar eminence (1), and the femoral condyles (6, 25). It cuts the lateral (26) and medial (7) menisci and the anterior (30) and posterior (12) cruciate ligaments. It reveals the fibular (23) and tibial (5) collateral ligaments for the first time.

Note the relationship between the intercondylar eminence (1) and the posterior cruciate ligament (12). The posterior intercondylar area (23) is a deep notch that separates the tibial condyles and provides an area of attachment for the posterior cruciate ligament and part of the articular capsule.

The arterial supply of the knee joint is derived from the descending, the superior and inferior medial and lateral, and the middle genicular arteries of the knee, the descending branch of the lateral femoral circumflex, the anterior recurrent branch of the anterior tibial, and the posterior tibial recurrent arteries.

Lymph vessels drain to the popliteal and superficial and deep inguinal lymph nodes.

The nerve supply of the knee comes from the tibial, common peroneal, femoral, and obturator sources. The tibial sends two branches (or more), one with the middle genicular artery, one with the inferior medial genicular, and occasionally one with the superior medial genicular artery. The common peroneal nerve gives a branch that accompanies the superior lateral genicular artery, another that follows the inferior lateral genicular artery, and a recurrent branch that follows the course of the anterior tibial recurrent artery. The femoral sends an articular branch from the nerve to the vastus lateralis muscle, a second from the nerve to vastus medialis muscle, and sometimes a third from the nerve to the vastus intermedius muscle. The obturator nerve, by its posterior division, sends a branch through the adductor magnus muscle onto the popliteal artery that enters the knee joint posteriorly.

Within the capsule of the knee, the internal "ligaments" include the anterior (30) and posterior (12) cruciate, medial (7) and lateral (26) menisci, the anterior and posterior meniscofemoral, and the transverse ligament (12).

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