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Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 365–369 | Cite as

Tendinous insertion of semimembranosus muscle into the lateral meniscus

  • Y. C. Kim
  • W. K. Yoo
  • I. H. Chung
  • J. S. Seo
  • S. Tanaka
Original Articles

Summary

Forty-two cadaver knees were used for morphologic and MRI observations of the tendinous distal expansions of the semimembranosus m. and the posterior capsular structures of the knee. A tendinous branch of the semimembranosus m. inserting into the posterior horn of the lateral meniscus was found in 43.2% of the knees dissected, besides five already known insertional branches; capsular, direct, anterior and inferior, as well as the oblique popliteal ligament. The tendon had three morphologic types; thin, broad and round. All three types moved the lateral meniscus posteriorly when pulled on. Thus, the semimembranosus m. may also have a protective function for the lateral meniscus as well as the already well established function of protecting the medial meniscus in knee flexion. When a semimembranosus tendon attachment to the posterior horn of the lateral meniscus is present, its normal insertion is difficult to differentiate from a lateral meniscus tear in MRI and this may cause misdiagnosis.

Key words

Semimembranosus m. Lateral meniscus Anatomy MRI Oblique popliteal ligament 

Insertion tendineuse du muscle semimembraneux sur le ménisque latéral

Résumé

Une étude morphologique et en IRM des terminaisons du tendon distal du m. semi-membraneux et des structures postérieures de la capsule du genou a été réalisée à partir de 42 genoux de cadavres. Un faisceau tendineux du m. semi-membraneux s'insérant sur la corne postérieure du ménisque latéral a été trouvée dans 43,2 % des genoux disséqués en plus des cinq faisceaux déjà connus : capsulaire, direct, antérieur et inférieur, ainsi que le lig. poplité oblique. Ce faisceau présentait trois types morphologiques : fin, large, rond. Quel que soit son type, sa traction vers l'arrière mobilisait le ménisque latéral. De ce fait, le m. semi-membraneux aurait également un rôle protecteur sur le ménisque latéral, identique à celui déjà décrit pour le ménisque médial lors de la flexion du genou. Lorsque le tendon du m. semi-membraneux présente un faisceau d'insertion sur la corne postérieure du ménisque latéral, il est difficile en IRM de différencier cette insertion d'une rupture du ménisque latéral et cela peut être une cause d'erreur diagnostique.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. C. Kim
    • 1
  • W. K. Yoo
    • 1
  • I. H. Chung
    • 2
  • J. S. Seo
    • 3
  • S. Tanaka
    • 4
  1. 1.Research Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine & Department of Rehabilitation MedicineYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of AnatomyYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulKorea
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulKorea
  4. 4.Department of AnatomyFaculty of Medicine University of KanazawaJapan

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