Oblique Popliteal Ligament: An Important Posterior Knee Ligament

The Oblique Popliteal Ligament (OPL) is a significant ligamentous popliteal capsular reinforcement traveling obliquely across the posterior knee connecting the tibia and femur. This large oblique ligament’s function limits valgus movement of the knee, and when injured valgus, the deformity can occur. The semimembranosus muscle attaches directly to this obliquely oriented ligament giving additional dynamic stability of rotation forces across the popliteal or posterior aspect of the knee.

 Latin: Ligamentum Popliteum Obliquum

Similar to most posterior knee ligaments, the oblique popliteal ligament is innervated by the posterior branch of the obturator nerve and the middle genicular nerve.


Similar to other posterior knee ligaments, the oblique popliteal ligament treatment needs to include a complete evaluation and treatment of the posteromedial corner of the knee and

  • Superficial medial collateral ligament (MCL)
  • Deep medial collateral ligament (MCL)
  • Posterior oblique ligament
  • The posterior horn of the medial meniscus
  • Semimembranosus muscle (hamstring)

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