Reference > Anatomy of the Human Body > Page 340
Henry Gray (1825–1861).  Anatomy of the Human Body.  1918.

The Articular Capsule (capsula articularis; capsular ligament) (Fig. 345).—The articular capsule consists of a thin, but strong, fibrous membrane which is strengthened in almost its entire extent by bands inseparably connected with it. Above and in front, beneath the tendon of the Quadriceps femoris, it is represented only by the synovial membrane. Its chief strengthening bands are derived from the fascia lata and from the tendons surrounding the joint. In front, expansions from the Vasti and from the fascia lata and its iliotibial band fill in the intervals between the anterior and collateral ligaments, constituting the medial and lateral patellar retinacula. Behind the capsule consists of vertical fibers which arise from the condyles and from the sides of the intercondyloid fossa of the femur; the posterior part of the capsule is therefore situated on the sides of and in front of the cruciate ligaments, which are thus excluded from the joint cavity. Behind the cruciate ligaments is the oblique popliteal ligament which is augmented by fibers derived from the tendon of the Semimembranosus. Laterally, a prolongation from the iliotibial band fills in the interval between the oblique popliteal and the fibular collateral ligaments, and partly covers the latter. Medially, expansions from the Sartorius and Semimembranosus pass upward to the tibial collateral ligament and strengthen the capsule.

The Ligamentum Patellæ (anterior ligament) (Fig. 345).—The ligamentum patellæ is the central portion of the common tendon of the Quadriceps femoris, which is continued from the patella to the tuberosity of the tibia. It is a strong, flat, ligamentous band, about 8 cm. in length, attached, above, to the apex and adjoining margins of the patella and the rough depression on its posterior surface; below, to the tuberosity of the tibia; its superficial fibers are continuous over the front of the patella with those of the tendon of the Quadriceps femoris. The medial and lateral portions of the tendon of the Quadriceps pass down on either side of the patella, to be inserted into the upper extremity of the tibia on either side of the tuberosity; these portions merge into the capsule, as stated above, forming the medial and lateral patellar retinacula. The posterior surface of the ligamentum patellæ is separated from the synovial membrane of the joint by a large infrapatellar pad of fat, and from the tibia by a bursa.

FIG. 345– Right knee-joint. Anterior view. (See enlarged image)

The Oblique Popliteal Ligament (ligamentum popliteum obliquum; posterior ligament) (Fig. 346).—This ligament is a broad, flat, fibrous band, formed of fasciculi separated from one another by apertures for the passage of vessels and nerves. It is attached above to the upper margin of the intercondyloid fossa and posterior surface of the femur close to the articular margins of the condyles, and below to the posterior margin of the head of the tibia. Superficial to the main part of the ligament is a strong fasciculus, derived from the tendon of the Semimembranosus and passing from the back part of the medial condyle of the tibia obliquely upward and lateralward to the back part of the lateral condyle of the femur. The oblique popliteal ligament forms part of the floor of the popliteal fossa, and the popliteal artery rests upon it.


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