What is the anatomy of the knee relevant to the treatment of cystic lesions?

Updated: Dec 29, 2018
  • Author: David M Gonzalez, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Thomas M DeBerardino, MD  more...
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Knowledge of the bursae, tendon sheaths, fascial planes, tendons, ligaments, muscle, articular capsules, major nerves, arteries, veins, and the bony prominences around the knee is critical to the proper surgical and nonsurgical treatment of knee cysts. The most relevant of these structures is the location of the various bursae and tendon sheaths. [17]

Considering that the knee is a very mobile structure, it makes sense that there are numerous bursae to allow for the smooth gliding of tendons, muscles, bone, and skin over each other. The most significant bursa are as follows:

  • Anterior knee: Prepatellar, suprapatellar, and deep infrapatellar bursae
  • Medial and posteromedial knee: Pes anserine, medial gastrocnemius, semimembranosus, and medial collateral ligament bursae
  • Lateral and posterolateral knee: Inferior bursa of the biceps femoris, as well as the bursae of the lateral gastrocnemius, the iliotibial tract, the lateral collateral ligament, and the popliteal tendon

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