Anatomy of Knee

The Inner Secrets of Your Knee

The knee is one of the largest and most complex joints in the human body, playing a crucial role in movement and weight-bearing. It connects the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia), with the kneecap (patella) situated at the front of the joint, providing protection and leverage. The fibula, a smaller bone alongside the tibia, and the femur also form part of the knee joint but to a lesser extent.

Within the knee, two critical types of cartilage facilitate smooth movement: articular cartilage covers the ends of the femur, tibia, and back of the patella, reducing friction and absorbing shock, while menisci—two C-shaped pieces of tough, rubbery cartilage—act as shock absorbers between the femur and tibia.

Your Key to Stability

The knee’s stability is maintained by a network of ligaments and tendons. Ligaments connect bones to each other, with the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) crisscrossing inside the knee to control forward and backward movement. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) and lateral collateral ligament (LCL) provide medial and lateral stability, respectively. Tendons connect muscles to bones, with the quadriceps tendon connecting the quadriceps muscle to the patella, and the patellar tendon extending from the patella to the tibia.

The synovial membrane encapsulates the knee joint, secreting synovial fluid for lubrication. This intricate structure allows for a wide range of movements, including bending, straightening, and slight rotation, making the knee essential for walking, running, and jumping, yet vulnerable to injury due to its complexity and workload.

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