Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 40, Issue 5, pp 499–506 | Cite as

An anatomic study on the attachment of the joint capsule to the tibia in the lateral side of the knee

  • Hisayo Nasu
  • Akimoto NimuraEmail author
  • Sara Sugiura
  • Hitomi Fujishiro
  • Hideyuki Koga
  • Keiichi Akita
Original Article



The purpose of the current study was to examine the width, area, and histological characteristics of the capsular attachment to the tibia in the lateral side of the knee.


A total of 27 knees were used in this study. The joint capsule of the knee was peeled away from the tibia and the width of the capsular attachment to the tibia was measured by two independent observers using a caliper. Interclass correlation coefficients for each value were calculated to evaluate the validity of the measurement. The capsular attachment to the tibia of the seven knees was histologically analyzed using Masson’s trichrome staining.


At the posterior border of Gerdy’s tubercle, the capsular attachment was wide; the average width was 8.6 mm (SD 3.0). Toward the posterolateral aspect of the knee, the capsular attachment gradually tapered. Finally, the capsular attachment was linear at the apex of the head of the fibula. Histological analysis at the posterior border of Gerdy’s tubercle revealed developed uncalcified fibrocartilage on the capsular attachment. In contrast, at the apex of the head of the fibula, the joint capsule was adhered to the capsule of the proximal tibiofibular joint. Fibrous connective tissue was directly attached to the calcified fibrocartilage.


The attachment width of the knee joint capsule at the lateral side varied according to location. We consider that this finding on the capsular attachment will facilitate an understanding of the pathology or mechanism of diseases on the lateral side of the knee joint.


Lateral knee Tibia Joint capsule Capsular attachment Anatomy 


Compliance with ethical standards


This study was funded by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports.

Conflict of interest

Akita K has received Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports(C) (Grant Number 15K08129). Nimura A has received Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports(C) (Grant Number 16K10890). The other authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

The bodies were donated to Tokyo Medical and Dental University. Before death, all the donors had voluntarily expressed their will of donating their body for anatomical education and study. This system was established by the Act on Body Donation for Medical and Dental Education in Japan in 1983. Our study completely complied with the law.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hisayo Nasu
    • 1
  • Akimoto Nimura
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sara Sugiura
    • 1
  • Hitomi Fujishiro
    • 1
  • Hideyuki Koga
    • 3
  • Keiichi Akita
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Anatomy, Graduate School of Medical and Dental ScienceTokyo Medical and Dental UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Functional Joint Anatomy, Graduate School of Medical and Dental ScienceTokyo Medical and Dental UniversityTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Joint Surgery and Sports Medicine, Graduate School of Medical and Dental ScienceTokyo Medical and Dental UniversityTokyoJapan

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