Updated: 3/29/2014

Knee Medial Approach

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Introduction
  • Indications
    • repair of medial knee ligaments
    • medial meniscus repair or meniscectomy
Anatomy
  • There are three anatomic layers to the medial knee
    • layer 1
      • sartorius 
      • deep fascia
    • Zone between Layer 1 & 2
      • gracilis 
      • semitendinosus 
    • layer 2
      • superficial MCL
      • posterior oblique ligament
    • layer 3
      • deep MCL
      • capsule
      • coronary ligaments
Intermuscular Plan
  • No internervous or intermuscular plane
Preparation
  • Anesthesia
    • general
    • sciatic or femoral nerve block
  • Position
    • supine
  • Tourniquet
    • applied to thigh
Approach
  • Incision
    • landmark
      • palpate adductor tubercle along medial aspect of knee
    • make long, curved incision 2 cm proximal to the adductor tubercle
      • start midline
      • end 6 cm below the joint line with slight anterior curve
  • Superficial dissection
    • raise skin flaps exposing fascia
    • sacrifice the infrapatellar branch of the saphenous nerve
      • nerve crosses field transversely
    • save the saphenous nerve itself
      • nerve is located between sartorius and gracilis
  • Deep dissection
    • can either be exposed anterior or posterior to superficial medial collateral ligament
      • anterior to the superficial medial collateral ligament
        • provides access to anterior medial side of joint
        • incise the fascia along the anterior border of sartorius
        • flex the knee to allow sartorius to retract posteriorly
          • knee flexion uncovers the semitendinosis and gracilis
        • retract all three pes muscles posteriorly to expose the tibial insertion of the superficial medial ligament
        • make a longitudinal medial parapatellar incision to access joint
      • posterior to the superficial medial collateral ligament
        • provides access to posterior medial side of joint
        • incise the fascia along the anterior border of sartorius
        • retract it posteriorly, together with semitendinosis and gracilis
        • if the capsule is intact, expose the posteromedial corner of the joint by separating the medial head of gastrocnemius from semimembranosus
        • separate the medial head of gastrocnemius from the posterior capsule
Dangers
  • Infrapatellar branch of the saphenous nerve
    • crosses transversely across operative field
    • usually sacrificed
    • should be buried in fat to prevent neuroma
  • Saphenous vein
    • is located between sartorius and gracilis
  • Medial inferior genicular artery
    • may be damaged as medial head of gastrocnemius is lifted off tibia
  • Popliteal artery
    • lies along midline posterior joint capsule
    • adjacent to medial head of gastrocnemius
 

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