The knee joint is made up of four bones:
- The femur is the bone of
the thigh. It is the largest bone in the body.
- The tibia is the large
bone in the lower leg. The femur sits on the tibia.
- The fibula is the smaller
bone in the lower leg. It serves as an attachment point for muscles
and the lateral collateral ligament.
- The patella is also known
as the "kneecap". It is located in front of the femur and tibia. As
the knee moves, the patella slides within a groove on the femur.
Back to top
Four major ligaments connect the bones of
the upper and lower leg. Ligaments are strong bundles of fibers that stabilize
the joint, guide joint motion, and prevent excessive motion.
Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)
The cruciates are the two major ligaments inside the knee joint. The
name "cruciate" means "cross" and comes from the fact that these two
ligaments cross each other as they attach to the femur and the tibia.
Collateral Ligament (MCL) and Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL)
The collateral ligaments are the ligaments on either side of the knee
joint. The MCL is on the inner side of the knee and the LCL is on
the outer side of the knee.
sets of muscles cross the knee joint to make it move.
The quadriceps (sometimes referred to as "quads") are
four muscles in the front of the thigh that straighten the knee .
The hamstrings (sometimes referred to as "hams") are
the muscles in the back of the thigh that work together to bend the
Tendons are the connective structures that attach muscle
to bones. Ligaments connect bone to bone. The four quadriceps come together
to form one tendon called the quadriceps tendon. This tendon
surrounds the patella and is called the patellar tendon
as it attaches the muscles to the tibia.
There are two types of cartilage within the
Cartilage - The ends of each bone are covered with this smooth
substance. Articular cartilage serves two purposes:
· It minimizes friction and wear of
the bone surfaces.
· It spreads the loads that are applied
to a joint.
- There are two C-shaped wedges called menisci (plural). The medial
meniscus and the lateral meniscus are cushions between the femur and
the tibia. These rubber-like shock absorbers improve the fit of the
two bones. The menisci are the parts of the knee damaged when someone
is said to have "torn cartilage."
Back to top
© 2007 by LeadingMD, Inc. All rights reserved.