Adobe Flash Player and Javascript are required to display e-Anatomy Modules
e-Anatomy 5 Beta

Anatomy of the knee (MRI) - atlas of the human body using cross-sectional imaging

Antoine Micheau, MD, Denis Hoa, MD

Published on Monday 25 August 2008

SECTION: Musculoskeletal anatomy (upper and lower extremities)

Images and anatomical references

This atlas of cross sectional anatomy of the knee is based on imagery by magnetic resonance (MRI). Each anatomical structure is labelled interactively. This tool is at the same time useful for the training and teaching of the anatomy, but also for experts to illustrate a course or an explanation of a pathology to a patient, in particular within the framework of the ruptures of the cross ligaments or the lesions of the meniscuses.

This software is open and free to anyone curious about anatomy, but it was particularly conceived for radiologists, rheumatologists, orthopaedic surgeons, general practitioners, and medical students (assistance with the preparation of medical boards), and radiology technicians.


Atlas of anatomy of the whole human body : anatomy of the knee adapted from medical imaging (MRI : Magnetic Resonance Imaging)


Cross-sectional anatomy: MRI of the knee


An MRI of the knee of a healthy subject was performed in the 3 planes of space (coronal, axial, sagittal) commonly used in osteoarticular imagery, with two weightings most commonly used to explore the musculo-skeletal pathology of the knee: spin-echo T1 and proton-density with fat saturation sequences.


Cross sectional anatomy of the knee based on MRI : articular surface of patella and femur, condyle, epicondyle and muscles (popliteus, sartorius, gastrocnemius, semimembranous with tendos...)


The images obtained were exported to JPEG from DICOM data stored on the PACS (Picture Archiving and Communicating System).
The images were post-processed with Adobe Photoshop (realignment, reduction of size in order to adapt to the electronic format).
The interactive and dynamic contents were added with Adobe Flash.


Sagittal cross section of the knee : anatomy of the posterior and anterior cruciate ligaments, infrapateallar fat pad, patellar ligament, muscles, nerves and arteries of the popliteal fossa.


Illustrations: 3D osseous model of the knee


We added 3D illustrations of the bones of the knee (femur, tibia, fibula (peroneal) and patella (kneecap)) which we then labelled. They were created by volume rendering from a CT-scan of the knee. These illustrations allow basic anatomical recalls in anatomy of the knee and make it possible to be located more easily on an MRI by using the osseous cross-references.


Anatomy of the ankle and foot in MRI: posting of the anatomical legends

  • The “anatomical structures” menu allows the user to visualize only the labels of interest:
    •  Bones
    •  Articulations
    •  Ligaments
    •  Muscles
    •  Tendons
    •  Fascia
    •  Arteries
    •  Veins
    •  Nerves

Anatomy of the knee on a coronal slice (MRI) : meniscus (lateral and medial), cruciate ligaments, vastus (lateralis, intermedius, medialis), tibial and fibular collateral ligaments.


The “weightings” menu makes it possible to choose the type of MRI sequence to be viewed: spin-echo T1 or proton-density with fat saturation sequences.
The “plans” menu allows the use to choose the visualization of the knee in one of the 3 planes of space: axial, coronal or sagittal and to access the osseous 3D volume renderings.
The left side menu provides cross-references to help for a better orientation in space for the user. This one moreover is facilitated by a medical illustration of the osseous skeleton based on a 3D illustration by volume rendering.


3D pictures of the knee : anterior view showing the anatomy of the patella, femur, tibia, fibula and femorotibial joint.

Anatomical parts

  • Adductor tubercle - Tuberculum adductorium
  • Anatomical structures - Anatomical parts
  • Anterior cruciate ligament - Ligamentum cruciatum anterius
  • Anterior intercondylar area - Area intercondylaris anterior
  • Anterior intermuscular septum of leg - Septum intermusculare cruris anterius
  • Anterior meniscofemoral ligament - Ligamentum meniscofemorale anterius
  • Anterior surface - Facies anterior
  • Anterior tibial artery - Arteria tibialis anterior
  • Anterior tibial veins - Venae tibiales anteriores
  • Apex of head - Apex capitis fibulae
  • Apex of patella - Apex patellae
  • Arcuate popliteal ligament - Ligamentum popliteum arcuatum
  • Arteries - Arteriae
  • Articular facet - Facies articularis capitis fibulae
  • Articular surface - Facies articularis
  • Articularis genus; Articular muscle of knee - Musculus articularis genus
  • Base of patella - Basis patellae
  • Biceps femoris - Musculus biceps femoris
  • Biceps femoris - Musculus biceps femoris (Long head - Caput longum)
  • Biceps femoris - Musculus biceps femoris (Short head - Caput breve)
  • Bones; Skeletal system - Ossa; Systema skeletale
  • Common fibular nerve - Nervus fibularis communis
  • Deep fascia of leg - Fascia cruris
  • Extensor digitorum longus - Musculus extensor digitorum longus
  • Fabella - Fabella
  • Fascia - Fasciae
  • Fascia lata - Fascia lata
  • Femur; Thigh bone - Femur; Os femoris
  • Fibula - Fibula
  • Fibular articular facet - Facies articularis fibularis
  • Fibular collateral ligament - Ligamentum collaterale fibulare
  • Fibularis longus - Musculus fibularis longus
  • Gastrocnemius - Musculus gastrocnemius (Lateral head - Caput laterale)
  • Gastrocnemius - Musculus gastrocnemius (Medial head - Caput mediale)
  • Gerdy's tubercule - Gerdy's tubercule
  • Gracilis - Musculus gracilis
  • Great saphenous vein - Vena saphena magna
  • Groove for popliteus - Sulcus popliteus
  • Head - Caput fibulae
  • Iliotibial tract - Tractus iliotibialis
  • Infrapatellar fat pad - Corpus adiposum infrapatellare
  • Infrapatellar synovial fold - Plica synovialis infrapatellaris
  • Intercondylar eminence - Eminentia intercondylaris
  • Intercondylar fossa - Fossa intercondylaris
  • Interosseous membrane of leg - Membrana interossea cruris
  • Joint - Junctura
  • Lateral condyle - Condylus lateralis
  • Lateral epicondyle - Epicondylus lateralis
  • Lateral femoral intermuscular septum - Septum intermusculare femoris laterale
  • Lateral intercondylar tubercle - Tuberculum intercondylare laterale
  • Lateral meniscus - Meniscus lateralis
  • Lateral meniscus : anterior horn - Meniscus lateralis
  • Lateral meniscus : posterior horn - Meniscus lateralis
  • Lateral patellar retinaculum - Retinaculum patellae laterale
  • Lateral sural cutaneous nerve - Nervus cutaneus surae lateralis
  • Lateral surface - Facies lateralis
  • Ligaments - Ligamenta
  • Medial condyle - Condylus medialis
  • Medial epicondyle - Epicondylus medialis
  • Medial intercondylar tubercle - Tuberculum intercondylare mediale
  • Medial meniscus - Meniscus medialis
  • Medial meniscus : anterior horn - Meniscus medialis
  • Medial meniscus : posterior horn - Meniscus medialis
  • Medial patellar retinaculum - Retinaculum patellae mediale
  • Medial sural cutaneous nerve - Nervus cutaneus surae medialis
  • Medial surface - Facies medialis
  • Muscles; Muscular system - Musculi; Systema musculare
  • Muscular branches - Rami musculares (Tibial nerve - Nervus tibialis)
  • Neck - Collum fibulae
  • Nerves - Nerves
  • Oblique popliteal ligament - Ligamentum popliteum obliquum
  • Patella - Patella
  • Patellar surface - Facies patellaris
  • Plantaris - Musculus plantaris
  • Plica synovialis mediopatellaris - Plica synovialis mediopatellaris
  • Plica synovialis suprapatellaris - Plica synovialis suprapatellaris
  • Popliteal artery - Arteria poplitea
  • Popliteal surface - Facies poplitea
  • Popliteal vein - Vena poplitea
  • Popliteus - Musculus popliteus
  • Posterior cruciate ligament - Ligamentum cruciatum posterius
  • Posterior intercondylar area - Area intercondylaris posterior
  • Posterior intermuscular septum of leg - Septum intermusculare cruris posterius
  • Posterior meniscofemoral ligament - Ligamentum meniscofemorale posterius
  • Posterior surface - Facies posterior
  • Posterior tibial artery - Arteria tibialis posterior
  • Posterior tibial veins - Venae tibiales posteriores
  • Quadriceps femori - Musculus quadriceps femoris
  • Rectus femoris - Musculus rectus femoris
  • Rectus femoris - Musculus rectus femoris (Tendon - Tendo)
  • Saphenous nerve - Nervus saphenus
  • Sartorius - Musculus sartorius
  • Sartorius - Musculus sartorius (Tendon - Tendo)
  • Semimembranosus - Musculus semimembranosus
  • Semitendinosus - Musculus semitendinosus
  • Small saphenous vein; Short saphenous vein - Vena saphena parva
  • Soleal line - Linea musculi solei
  • Soleus - Musculus soleus
  • Superior articular surface - Facies articularis superior
  • Suprapatellar bursa - Bursa suprapatellaris
  • Sural communicating branch - Ramus communicans fibularis; Ramus communicans peroneus
  • Sural veins - Venae surales
  • T1 - T1w - T1 - T1w
  • Tendon - Tendo
  • Tibia - Tibia
  • Tibial collateral ligament - Ligamentum collaterale tibiale
  • Tibial nerve - Nervus tibialis
  • Tibial tuberosity - Tuberositas tibiae
  • Tibialis anterior - Musculus tibialis anterior
  • Tibialis posterior - Musculus tibialis posterior
  • Transverse ligament of knee - Ligamentum transversum genus
  • Vastus intermedius - Musculus vastus intermedius
  • Vastus lateralis - Musculus vastus lateralis
  • Vastus medialis - Musculus vastus medialis
  • Vastus medialis - Musculus vastus medialis
  • Veins - Vena
  • Weightings - Weightings

Loading comments ...

Loading comments ...