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The Anatomy of the Medial Part of the Knee

LaPrade, Robert F., MD, PhD1; Engebretsen, Anders Hauge, Medical Student2; Ly, Thuan V., MD1; Johansen, Steinar, MD2; Wentorf, Fred A., MS1; Engebretsen, Lars, MD, PhD2

doi: 10.2106/JBJS.F.01176
Scientific Articles
Supplementary Content

Background: While the anatomy of the medial part of the knee has been described qualitatively, quantitative descriptions of the attachment sites of the main medial knee structures have not been reported. The purpose of the present study was to verify the qualitative anatomy of medial knee structures and to perform a quantitative evaluation of their anatomic attachment sites as well as their relationships to pertinent osseous landmarks.

Methods: Dissections were performed and measurements were made for eight nonpaired fresh-frozen cadaveric knees with use of an electromagnetic three-dimensional tracking sensor system.

Results: In addition to the medial epicondyle and the adductor tubercle, a third osseous prominence, the gastrocnemius tubercle, which corresponded to the attachment site of the medial gastrocnemius tendon, was identified. The average length of the superficial medial (tibial) collateral ligament was 94.8 mm. The superficial medial collateral ligament femoral attachment was 3.2 mm proximal and 4.8 mm posterior to the medial epicondyle. The superficial medial collateral ligament had two separate attachments on the tibia. The distal attachment of the superficial medial collateral ligament on the tibia was 61.2 mm distal to the knee joint. The deep medial collateral ligament consisted of meniscofemoral and meniscotibial portions. The posterior oblique ligament femoral attachment was 7.7 mm distal and 6.4 mm posterior to the adductor tubercle and 1.4 mm distal and 2.9 mm anterior to the gastrocnemius tubercle. The medial patellofemoral ligament attachment on the femur was 1.9 mm anterior and 3.8 mm distal to the adductor tubercle.

Conclusions: The medial knee ligament structures have a consistent attachment pattern.

Clinical Relevance: Identification of the gastrocnemius tubercle and the quantitative relationships presented here will be useful in the study of anatomic repairs and reconstructions of complex ligamentous injuries that involve the medial knee structures.

1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Minnesota, 2450 Riverside Avenue, R200, Minneapolis, MN 55454. E-mail address for R.F. LaPrade:

2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Ulleval University Hospital, University of Oslo, N-0407 Oslo, Norway

Copyright © 2007 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
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