Innervation of the human knee joint and implications for surgery

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1994 Apr;(301):221-6.


The anatomy of the articular and cutaneous nerves about the knee was investigated through 45 dissections of human anatomic specimens. The variability and location of these nerves are described and related to soft tissue and bony landmarks. Three constant nerves exist at the medial aspect of the knee, two of which have cutaneous territories that extend across the midline. The third nerve is articular. Two lateral articular nerves were found consistently in relation to reliable landmarks. The innervation to the lateral knee skin is variable from either the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve or branches of the femoral nerve. This anatomy provides a basis for nerve blocks and selective denervation in the treatment of knee pain.

MeSH terms

  • Femoral Nerve / anatomy & histology
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / innervation*
  • Knee Joint / surgery
  • Peripheral Nerves / anatomy & histology*