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Joseph Junewick, MD FACR
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Popliteus Tendon Avulsion

Case Detail

Anatomy: Musculoskeletal
Joseph Junewick, MD FACR
Diagnostic Category: Trauma
Created: over 8 years ago
Updated: over 8 years ago
Tags: PEDS
Modality/Study Types: CR MR
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Teenager with lateral joint line pain/tenderness.

Case Images


Popliteus Tendon Avulson


CR – Small elongated bony fragment along the lateral aspect of the distal femoral epiphysis.

MR – Confirms avulsion fracture; note the edema in the femoral epiphysis.


The popliteus tendon originates on the anterior aspect of the popliteus groove just anterior and inferior to the origin of the lateral collateral ligament but also has attachments on posterior medial aspect of the tibia, the lateral meniscus posteriorly, and the popliteofibular ligament (one of the most important stabilizers in the posterolateral corner). Therefore these injuries indicate high-grade injuries to the posterolateral corner of the knee. Acute repair or reconstruction is performed when operative treatment of combined injuries is undertaken. Isolated injuries are less common.


Gottsegen CJ, Eyer BA, White EA, et al. Avulsion Fractures of the Knee: Imaging Findings and Clinical Significance. RadioGraphics (2008), 28: 1755-1770.

Haims AH, Medvecky MJ Pavlovich R, et al. MR Imaging of the Anatomy of and Injuries to the Lateral and Posterolateral Aspects of the Knee. AJR (2003); 180(3): 647-653.

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