Popliteal Fossa : Mnemonics

Mnemonic: Serve And Volley Next Ball

  1. Semimembranosus/Semitendinosus
  2. Artery – Popliteal artery
  3. Vein – Popliteal vein
  4. Nerve – Tibial nerve and Common peroneal nerve
  5. Biceps femoris

Think of popliteal fossa as a diamond-shaped space. The floor is formed by Popliteus muscle.

popliteal fossa schematic

Membranosus = Medial (The 2 “Semis” go together – hence medial border is formed by semimembranosus, semitendinosus and medial head of gastrocnemius)

Therefore, biceps femoris and lateral head of gastrocnemius has to be lateral.

Causes of lump/swelling in popliteal fossa

Mnemonic: ABCD

  1. Aneurysm
  2. Benign and malignant neoplasms:
    • Rhabdomyosarcoma
    • Pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS)
    • Synovial hemangioma
  3. Cysts:
    • Baker’s cyst (Synovial cyst)
    • Ganglionic cyst
    • Meniscal cyst
  4. DVT

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