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The Popliteus is located in the Deep Posterior Compartment of the (lower) leg. The muscles in the deep posterior compartment are:
- Distal posterolateral femur to the proximal posteromedial tibia.
- The popliteus attaches proximally onto the lateral surface of the lateral condyle of the femur.
- Medially rotates the leg at the knee joint.
- Laterally rotates the thigh at the knee joint.
- Flexes the leg at the knee joint.
- The proximal tendon of the popliteus travels through the knee joint cavity. It is one of only two muscles in the human body that are intra-articular (the other being the long head of the biceps brachii).
- Lateral rotation of the thigh (femur) at the knee joint is the reverse/closed-chain joint action of medial rotation of the leg (tibia) at the knee joint.
- The rotation component of the popliteus is especially important at “unlocking” the extended knee joint.