Definition of popliteal in English:


Pronunciation /pɒˈplɪtɪəl//ˌpɒplɪˈtiːəl/


  • Relating to or situated in the hollow at the back of the knee.

    • ‘The patient's legs were placed on pillows to bend her knees slightly to prevent peroneal and popliteal nerve damage.’
    • ‘Posteriorly, the head rises to a pointed apex that affords attachment for the arcuate popliteal ligament and, on the lateral side, part of the biceps tendon.’
    • ‘Angiographic findings include severe distal, segmental occlusive lesions, but the more proximal arteries (below the popliteal and distal to brachial branches) are normal.’
    • ‘Large blood vessels pass through the popliteal space behind the knee.’
    • ‘The obturator nerve, by its posterior division, sends a branch through the adductor magnus muscle onto the popliteal artery that enters the knee joint posteriorly.’
    • ‘Thus, reflux at the saphenofemoral junction, saphenopopliteal junction, and within the deep venous system, including the popliteal vein beneath the knee and the gastrocnemius veins, can be detected without invasive techniques.’
    • ‘Commonly used sites for catheterization include the basilic, cephalic, saphenous popliteal, external jugular, and temporal veins.’


Early 18th century: from modern Latin popliteus (from Latin poples, poplit- ‘ham, hough’) + -al.