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.
1Professional Building II At North Cypress Medical Center
AOSM Physical Therapy
2North Cypress Professional Building At Lakewood Crossing
AOSM Physical Therapy
3North Cypress Professional Building At Towne Lake
4Advanced Orthopaedics Memorial
What Our Patients Are Saying
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.
For the first time in many years and many knee operations on one leg I am without any knee pain. This is a result of a procedure performed by Dr. Patel.
Dr. David R. Mack replaced my right hip in June 2009, and my left in October 2010. I am already able to go places and do things on my own again.
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
I’ve been going to this office to see Dr. Blalock 4 months. He has done 4 different hand surgeries some in February and 1 in April. I probably will need another surgery next year and Dr. Blalock will be my surgeon.
I have to give everyone 5 stars from the front office and staff to Dr. Blalock and Dr. Patel all were great with very professional service.
Great experience with Dr. Tanous and staff. Telling our entire family and friends about my husband Mel ‘s injury and the kind and expert care we received . Our thanks and appreciation .
My son and husband have both been seen here. The staff is very polite and helpful. Dr. Mohr performed my husband’s back surgery.
I highly recommend Advanced Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine whenever the need arises for great orthopaedic surgeons.
Always treated promptly and kindly at AOSM. Thanks to Dr Mack and his team.