Özlem Orhan1, Batuhan Bahadır2, Erdem Aras Sezgin3, Ulunay Kanatlı2

1Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Harran University Faculty of Medicine, Şanlıurfa, Turkey
2Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Gazi University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey
3Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Aksaray University Faculty of Medicine, Aksaray, Turkey

Keywords: Arthroscopy, iliotibial band syndrome, knee, lateral, popliteus tendon, snapping


Painful snapping located at lateral aspect of the knee is common; however, snapping popliteus tendon syndrome (SPTS) rarely presents as the cause and may be misdiagnosed even by the most experienced surgeons. A 36-year-old male patient was admitted with lateral knee pain and snapping sensation for two years. Snapping was palpated at the lateral knee when flexed at 30° and the patient described intense pain beyond 80°. Arthroscopy revealed thickening of intra-articular portion of the popliteus tendon (PT). Surrounding synovium had extensive inflammation. During flexion, PT snapped back and forth into the popliteal sulcus. The inflamed tissue was debrided with no additional intervention to the PT. Postoperative physical therapy was recommended. The patient was relieved of his symptoms by the end of the first year. In conclusion, surgeons should be aware of SPTS during evaluation of the lateral compartment for optimal management of patients presenting with lateral knee pain and snapping sensation.

Citation: Orhan Ö, Bahadır B, Sezgin EA, Kanatlı U. Diagnosing snapping popliteus tendon is not a snap in lateral knee symptoms. Jt Dis Relat Surg Case Rep 2022;1(1):3-6.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.