Acute calcific tendinitis of the popliteus tendon--an unusual site and clinical syndrome

Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2002 Sep;84(5):338-41. doi: 10.1308/003588402760452475.


Three cases of acute calcific tendinitis of the popliteus tendon presenting in the accident and emergency department as 'locked knee' are described. All patients presented with acute pain, flexion deformity and marked limitation of movements of the knee. All patients were unable to weight-bear on the affected side. The radiographs revealed well circumscribed calcification in two patients and faint stippled calcification in the third. All patients were referred to the next fracture clinic with a diagnosis of a mechanical problem within the knee joint due either to a 'loose body' or a meniscal tear. All patients responded to an injection of corticosteroids and local anaesthetic with immediate pain relief and lasting resolution of symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Bupivacaine / administration & dosage
  • Calcinosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Calcinosis / drug therapy
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intra-Articular
  • Knee Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone / administration & dosage
  • Methylprednisolone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Methylprednisolone Acetate
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / etiology
  • Radiography
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Syndrome
  • Tendinopathy / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tendinopathy / drug therapy


  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Drug Combinations
  • Methylprednisolone Acetate
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Bupivacaine