What Is the Anatomy of the Knee?
The knee anatomy consists of a complex network of bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and muscles, all of which must work seamlessly together in order for this large, hinged joint to function properly without pain.
Specifically, the knee anatomy includes the following components:
- Bones – Three bones come together in the knee joint: the thigh bone (femur), shin bone (tibia) and kneecap (patella).
- Cartilage – Two types of cartilage cushion the knee joint: menisci and articular cartilage. The menisci are two crescent-shaped discs that prevent the bones in the knee joint from grinding together during movement, and also help distribute the weight load evenly between the femur and tibia. Articular cartilage is a smooth tissue that covers and protects the surfaces of the femur, tibia and patella at the points where they articulate against each other.
- Ligaments – The knee anatomy has four ligaments, which are tough, fibrous tissues that link bones together and promote joint stability. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) prevents the femur from sliding backward onto the tibia and the tibia from sliding forward onto the femur. The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) prevents the femur from sliding forward onto the tibia and the tibia from sliding backward onto the femur. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) and lateral collateral ligament (LCL) prevent the femur from moving excessively from side to side.
- Tendons – Tough bands of soft tissue, tendons connect bone to muscle and promote joint stability. The largest tendon in the knee anatomy is the patellar tendon, which covers the kneecap, runs up the thigh and attaches to the quadriceps.
- Muscles – While not technically part of the knee anatomy, the hamstrings and quadriceps help bend and straighten the knee joint, and the gluteal muscles help position the knee.
- The joint capsule – A membrane that surrounds the knee, the knee capsule contains synovial fluid, which lubricates and nourishes the joint.
- Bursae – These small, fluid-filled sacs reduce friction in the knee joint and help prevent inflammation.
Knee pain can result from damage to any of these structures. To identify the source of the pain and determine the most appropriate treatment, a knee specialist at Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, Texas, will perform a thorough evaluation of the knee anatomy, which will generally include a physical examination and a review of imaging studies.
Based on a conservative treatment philosophy, we encourage our patients to explore nonsurgical treatment options for knee pain before discussing any type of surgery. If you’d like to request a consultation, contact Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, TX, today.
To request an appointment, please enter the information on the form on the right and press the “Continue” button to start the appointment request process.
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What Our Patients Are Saying
So I was going to get on here and brag about what a great surgeon Dr. Cubbage is. But Cubbage is only 3/4 of the picture. He’ll fix you, but Karen is the one that will care for you and heal you! Facts are looks like dozens of people have already beat me to all of the brag I want to dish to these 2 people. I will leave it with one thing – Dr. Cubbage and Karen gave me my life back! Do I need to say more?
Dr. Bacon is fantastic. While she may not always be the most personable, she is extremely knowledgeable. My ankle has been bothering me for years and other doctors have dismissed me. She took the time to do a thorough exam and understand my body mechanics to get to a diagnosis
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This office did everything they could to get me in timely after a very bad sprain on my ankle. I saw nurse practitioner Stuart who is very thorough and x-rays and explaining everything to me. I would definitely recommend advanced orthopaedics for anyone With something broken or sprained
I never review places or services on Facebook, but I could not let others know how blessed I was to have Dr. Cubbage as my surgeon. He and his lovely staff, including awesome Karen, have truly taken care of during this difficult time. I am thrilled to say that I’m quickly on the mend and I’ll be back in the classroom very soon! Love this practice!!
I was in pain for a couple of months and went to see Dr. Cubbage. He knew right away by the way my posture what the issue was. He had me scheduled in and he along with his staff were awesome. After my surgery, I felt 100 % better. I had a few follow up visits and he along with his staff were genuinely attentive to my concerns and needs. I was also not in his network and his staff helped me out with that as well. I highly recommend him for people that have back or neck issues.
Dr. Cubbage & Staff replaced a disc that had been destroyed between my 4th and 5th vertebra. This is my 4th month since the surgery in January of 2018. I was very impressed with their dedication and professional approach to helping me live a more productive life. I am a 70 year old wife, mother and grandmother. Feel very blessed. Sincerely!
Excellent experience. The doctor, staff, office services and hospital care were outstanding before, during and after the procedure. Thank you – Heathgrades, Dr. Cubbage review
Each procedure done by Dr. Patel has been an improvement. Very pleased.