The main stabilizers of the posterolateral corner of the knee are the lateral collateral ligament, the biceps femoris tendon and the popliteus tendon (Figs. [see App]). Since they play a major role in joint stability, it is crucial to detect their injury (Figs. [see App]).
Injuries to the posterolateral corner often occur with tears of the anterior or posterior cruciate ligament. They are particularly common when there are contusions of the anteromedial femoral condyle and the posteromedial tibial plateau. Gaeslin et al. 2010
- Furthermore, the term “posterolateral corner” refers to a unit of multiple small capsular and ligamentous structures:
the popliteofibular ligament – in most cases discernible
- the posterosuperior and the anteroinferior popliteomeniscal fascicles, which wrap around the popliteus tendon as it passes through the popliteus hiatus. Aman et al. 2019
- the fabellofibular ligament – often not discernible
The lateral inferior genicular artery runs between the fabellofibular ligament posterolateral to the artery and the popliteofibular ligament anteromedial to the artery and may serve as an anatomic landmark.
It can be difficult to identify these smaller ligaments as separate structures (Figs. [see App]). Since they have been shown not to contribute significantly to posterolateral stability, it is not important to clearly assign a posterolateral capsule injury to a distinct ligament. What is important is to identify the injury itself and pay attention to the main stabilizers. Filli et al. 2018