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
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AOSM Physical Therapy
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What Our Patients Are Saying
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 have been fighting chronic knee pain for ten years following a knee replacement, a bone infection, and subsequent knee revision surgery. After a number of failed solutions to pain relief, Dr. Patel introduced me to RF
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Dr. Mills is exceptional. I would recommend him to anyone
The surgery done by Dr. S. Patel (Actually injections) & the mild medications she has prescribed has surely made my lower back -hip-leg less painful.
When I started, I couldn’t put any weight on my right leg and now I can do virtually anything. While I hope to not need future therapy, this is without a doubt the place I will return to in the future.
Excellent care and attention to patients. I recently had a total hip replacement and I am able to walk 6 weeks after surgery with no cane.
I had Back surgery October 1st with fusion. My surgeon was Dr. M Cubbage and my experience I feel could not be any more satisfied with my surgery.
Doctor Brooks is the best. His advice to get lubricant injected into my knees has made my life so much better. Kudos!
I highly recommend Advanced Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine to anyone who needs anything dealing with bone replacement.