Popliteal artery aneurysm


A popliteal artery aneurysm is an aneurysm of the lower extremity which appears as uneven bulge in the wall of the artery that runs behind the knee joint. Behind the knee there is the popliteal artery which provides oxygen-rich blood to the calf and foot.

Popliteal aneurysms can result from damage to the popliteal artery or atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of an artery’s walls as a result of the buildup of lipids and cholesterol. The most typical type of peripheral aneurysm (aneurysm in an artery other than the aorta) causes the popliteal artery wall to weaken and protrude.


It’s possible that a popliteal artery aneurysm goes unnoticed. The lower leg ache that comes on when walking (claudication) could be the initial symptom. In addition to these, a popliteal artery aneurysm may also present with:

  • Pain in the knee and lower leg
  • The back of the knee has a pulsing sensation
  • The back of the knee appears swollen


A swelling in a weak area in the arterial wall is known as an aneurysm. The popliteal artery wall can deteriorate due to a variety of factors, including:

  • Hypertension
  • Blocked arteries (atherosclerosis)
  • Arterial wall that has weakened
  • Popliteal artery damage brought on by constant usage of the knee joint

Risk factors

Aneurysms in the popliteal artery are uncommon and are more common in men.

Men who have abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), which is the swelling of the aorta’s wall, frequently develop popliteal artery aneurysms. Popliteal artery aneurysm patients should be checked for AAA.

The following are additional popliteal artery aneurysm risk factors:

  • A heart valve that has narrowed (stenotic disease)
  • Three of more aneurysms in the body
  • Old age
  • Smoking
  • Hypertension