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Knee Anatomy


Pes Anserinus

  • includes sartorius, gracilis & semitendinosis (Say Grace before Tea)

  • sartorius - very broad insertion, forming a sheath over gracilis & semiT

  • Gracilis - smaller & anterior to semiT

  • Semitendinosis - enveloping muscle belly extending more distally

  • Functions - flexor of knee & internal rotator of tibia

Iliotibial Tract

  • inserts into Gerdy's tubercle on the tibia & extends to form the lateral patellar retinaculum

  • also attaches to the lateral femoral condyle forming a static lateral restraint

  • Function: since it crosses the centre of rotation of the knee moving from flexion to extension it acts as a flexor in flexion & an extensor in extension

Biceps Femoris

  • multiple insertions

  • 3 layers:

    1. superficial layer - superficial to LCL

    2. middle layer - surrounds LCL

    3. deep layer - attaches to head of fibula & Gerdy's tubercle on tibia

  • Function - flex knee & externally rotate tibia


  • forms floor of popliteal fossa

  • muscle attached to posterior tibia - tendon passes intraarticularly deep to femoral attachment of LCL to attach to femur

  • Functions¬†

    • flex & internally rotate tibia when leg is free OR externally rotate femur on tibia when tibia is fixed.

    • dynamic reinforcement of PCL, preventing post. displacement of tibia on femur


  • 5 distal attachments:

    1. Oblique Popliteal ligament - broad oblique expansion; tightens posterior capsule

    2. Posteromedial capsule - semiM fuses with posterior capsule to form the Posterior Oblique Ligament (static stabiliser & resists anteromedial rotation)

    3. Deep Head - anterior expansion deep to MCL

    4. Direct Head - direct attachment to post medial tibial condyle; palpable with knee flexed

    5. Anterior Expansion - superficial fascial expansion coursing over fascia in leg.

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