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ISSN: 2161-0673

Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies
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Review Article

Functional Popliteal Artery Entrapment Syndrome: A Review of the Anatomy and Pathophysiology

Matthew Hislop1*, Dominic Kennedy2 and Sanjay Dhupelia2

1Brisbane Sports and Exercise Medicine Specialists, Australia

2Queensland X-Ray, Greenslopes Private Hospital, Brisbane, Australia

*Corresponding Author:
Matthew Hislop
Brisbane Sports and Exercise Medicine Specialists
87 Riding Road, Hawthorne, Queensland 4171, Australia
Tel: +61 738990659
Fax: +61 738993135
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: April 06, 2014; Accepted Date: May 29, 2014; Published Date: June 04, 2014

Citation: Hislop M, Kennedy D, Dhupelia S (2014) Functional Popliteal Artery Entrapment Syndrome: A Review of the Anatomy and Pathophysiology. J Sports Med Doping Stud 4:140. doi: 10.4172/2161-0673.1000140

Copyright: © 2014 Hislop M, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Objectives: This paper reviews the knowledge regarding the embryogenesis and anatomy of the popliteal fossa with the aim of determining which variations predispose towards exertional leg pain and Functional Popliteal Artery Entrapment Syndrome (PAES) in particular.

Methods: Current literature review and synopsis of published knowledge is presented. Ethics approval was granted for this study by the Greenslopes Research and Ethics Committee.

Results: Functional PAES is thought to be more common than previously recognized. Four subgroups of clinical presentation were found, depending on anatomical variation in the popliteal fossa: Anatomical PAES; Functional PAES; Asymptomatic Occluders and Asymptomatic Non-occluders. Features predisposing towards Functional PAES include a more lateralized medial head of gastrocnemius and a lower percentage of maximal force of plantarflexion required to cause occlusion of the artery.

Conclusions: Functional PAES may be responsible for a large number of previously unrecognized cases of exertional leg pain, and an understanding of how it develops is important. In understanding the anatomical variations present in the popliteal fossa, one can classify which sub-group the patient belongs to, and how much this predisposes towards the development of exertional leg pain. The necessity for treatment, as well as where interventions should be targeted, can be determined by coupling these investigation findings with clinical features of claudicant leg pain.


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