Femoral Triangle

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The femoral triangle is bounded by the inguinal ligament and the sartorius and adductor

Within the triangle are the femoral sheath (containing the femoral artery and vein) and the femoral nerve (which is outside of the femoral sheath).

Passing under the inguinal ligament (from lateral to medial) are the: femoral nerve, femoral artery, femoral vein, an empty space within the femoral sheath called the femoral canal, and an inguinal lymph node within the femoral canal (NAVEL). The femoral canal is the site of femoral hernias.

The popliteal fossa is a diamond-shaped region bounded by the biceps femoris superolaterally, the semimembranosus and semitendinosus superomedially, and the two heads of die gastrocnemius inferolaterally and inferomedially.

The floor of the fossa is formed by (from superior to inferior) the popliteal surface of the femur, the knee joint capsule, and the popliteus muscle.

Within the fossa (from posterior to anterior) are the tibial nerve, popliteal vein, and popliteal artery. Note that the artery is the deepest structure and closest to the femur. It may be endangered by a fracture of the supracondylar region of the femur.

The common peroneal nerve is in the lateral part of the fossa and lies against the tendon of the biceps femoris. As the tendon of the biceps femoris inserts on the head of the fibula, the common peroneal nerve wraps around the lateral surface of the fibular neck. In this location, the nerve may be damaged by trauma to the fibular head or neck.

The knee joint is formed by the articulations of the medial and lateral femoral condyles, the medial and lateral tibial condyles (plateaus), and the patella.

Medially and laterally, the knee joint capsule is strengthened by the medial and lateral collateral ligaments. These ligaments resist abduction and adduction, respectively.

There are two major intracapsular ligaments: the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments. These are named according to the site of inferior attachment of the ligament on the tibia, i.e., the anterior cruciate ligament attaches to the tibia anterior to the posterior cruciate ligament. These ligaments prevent anterior and posterior displacement of the tibia on the femur, respectively. The tests for the integrity of these ligaments are the anterior and posterior drawer signs (anterior drawer sign indicates damage to the anterior cruciate ligament).

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