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December 1979

Popliteal Vascular Entrapment: Its Increasing Interest

Author Affiliations

From the Peripheral Vascular Surgery Service, Department of Surgery, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, and the Department of Surgery, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md.

Arch Surg. 1979;114(12):1377-1384. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1979.01370360031004

• In the past 20 years since the first clinical management of a patient with a congenital anomaly associated with an abnormal medial head of the gastrocnemius muscle causing external compression on the popliteal artery, approximately 100 similar lesions have been documented in the world's literature. This has been a lesion of international interest, with only approximately 25% of the cases from hospitals in the United States. This present series of 14 lesions from Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, during a 12½-year period beginning in September 1966 emphasizes the increasing interest in this lesion. The young athletic male in whom intermittent claudication develops with strenuous exercise or the middle-aged patient with a popliteal aneurysm should be evaluated for the possibility of popliteal vascular entrapment. Medial deviation of the popliteal artery seen angiographically is a classic finding, however, there might also be segmental occlusion of the midpopliteal artery. This series outlines various types of popliteal vascular entrapment and documents successful surgical management.

(Arch Surg 114:1377-1384, 1979)