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Netter's Atlas Of Human Anatomy (5th Ed.).pdf
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Lower Limb

page 241

page 242

49 Topographic Anatomy


At the end of your study, you should be able to:

Identifythe bonylandmarks of the lower limb

Identifythe main muscle masses and palpable tendons of the lower limb

Identifythe course of the great saphenous vein

Identifythe inguinal ligament and know its attachments

Identifythe popliteal fossa

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Lower Limb: Topographic Anatomy

[Plate 469, Lower Limb]

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[Plate 470, Dermatomes of Lower Limb]

Bony Landmarks

Greater trochanter of femur

Posterior edge palpable on lateral side of thigh

10 cm below iliac crest

Site of attachment of several gluteal muscles

Lateral and medial femoral condyles palpable on lateral and medial aspects of knee

Patella (kneecap)

Sesamoid bone

Within tendon of the quadriceps femoris

Tendon continues as patellar ligament inferiorly

Lateral and medial margins palpable when knee is flexed

Tibial condyles-medial and lateral rounded projections at its proximal end

Tibial tuberosity

Elevation on anterior surface of tibia

Located between the two condyles

Anterior border of tibia

Sharp and subcutaneous

Can be palpated from tibial tuberosityto medial malleolus

Head of fibula


Can be palpated on posterolateral knee at level of tibial tuberosity

Medial malleolus-medial projection of the tibia at its distal end

Lateral malleolus-expanded distal end of the fibula

Tuberosityof the fifth metatarsal

Bonyprotuberance halfwayalong the lateral side of the foot

Site of attachment for fibularis brevis muscle

Muscles and Tendons

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Quadriceps femoris-muscle mass of anterior thigh (see Section 7-2: Lower Limb: Hip and Thigh)

Gastrocnemius muscle-muscle mass of posterior leg (see Section 7-4: Lower Limb: Leg)

Hamstring muscles

Palpable as a mass arising from the ischial tuberosity

Palpable as the medial and lateral superior borders of the popliteal fossa

Calcaneal tendon (Achilles' tendon)

Tendon of gastrocnemius

Descends to calcaneus (heel) on posteroinferior leg, between medial and lateral malleoli

Tendon of fibularis brevis-palpable at its attachment of the base of the fifth metatarsal

Tendons of extensor hallucis longus and extensor digitorum longus-visible when toes are forciblyextended



For something as specific as the great saphenous vein, use Search to locate the structure. Use the Search

Transparencyfeature to make all but the structure transmitted transparent: Video Tip 7.1 - saphenous

Great saphenous vein (see Section 7-6: Lower Limb: Neurovasculature)

Descends along the medial thigh and leg, passing posterior to the knee

Is visible with its tributaries when dilated and varicosed (because of incompetence of valves of vein to prevent backflow of blood)

Other Palpable Landmarks

Inguinal ligament

Runs inferomediallyfrom ASIS to pubic tubercle of pelvis

Folded inferior edge of external abdominal aponeurosis

Fold separates abdominal region from thigh

Popliteal fossa (see Section 7-3: Lower Limb: Knee)

Diamond-shaped depression posterior to knee

Contains arteries, veins, and nerves of the leg

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