Gerdy's tubercle is the bony bump on the outer side of the tibia bone just below the knee joint, and to which attaches stabilising bands of tissue - the iliotibial band and tensor fascia lata.

Page updated October 2023 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

Gerdy's tubercle

 

A line perpendicular from the lateral epicondyle, should bisect the line drawn between Gerdy's tubercle and the head of the fibula.

Attachment of iliotibial band at Gerdy's tubercle

Gerdy's tubercle is the attachment site of the iliotibial band.

 

Gerdy's tubercle is a key surgical landmark

The surgeon uses this landmark when deciding where to position the incision for surgery to the posterolateral corner and the lateral meniscus, and indeed all surgery in the upper lateral tibia, in order to avoid damage to the common peroneal nerve in that area.

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Why the common peroneal nerve should be avoided during surgery

The common peroneal nerve innervates the lower limb, and damage during surgery may lead to a foot drop, as well as alteration of sensation.

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Forum discussions

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Peer-reviewed papers

Quote:

"Identification of Gerdy's tubercle is the mainstay to any approach to the knee. Most surgical approaches to the proximal tibia and distal femur reference Gerdy's tubercle as a critical landmark. Its identification is therefore paramount. Unfortunately, the bony landmark can be skewed by soft tissue swelling, morbid obesity, or disruption from bony injury."

Citation: Donegan DJ, Seigerman DA, Yoon RS, Liporace FA. Gerdy's tubercle: the lighthouse to the knee. J Orthop Trauma. 2015 Feb;29(2):e51-3. doi: 10.1097/BOT.0000000000000196. PMID: 25050746.

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