Knee Joint

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The knee joint plays an important role in helping you support your body weight, and bend your leg. Without your knee, you would have problems with sitting, walking, running and many other forms of movement. Read on to learn more about your knee joint, and how it works.

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Knee Joint

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Knee bones and joint - Anterior or Front View
Knee bones and joint - Anterior or Front View

The knee joint is a very strong and complex joint. When standing, walking, running or many other movements the knee must support nearly all the weight of the body.

The knee joint connects the femur, or thigh bone, with the tibia bone of the lower leg. It also connects the femur with the patella or knee cap. There is also a secondary connection between the femur and the fibula.

The knee is a hinged joint allowing flexion and extension, as well as a slight rotation of the lower leg.

The knee joint consists of bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and other connective tissue. Muscles keep the bones in place and through contraction or extension help move the lower leg. Tendons are bands of fibrous tissue that connect muscles to bones. Cartilage is a thin, elastic tissue. It covers the bone surface along which the joints move to prevent bone ends from rubbing directly against each other. Cartilage protects the bone and allows the joint surfaces to slide easily over each other. Ligaments are bands of fibrous tissue that connect the ends of bones together to form a joint. The ligaments surrounding the knee joint offer stability by limiting movements in directions that might hurt the knee.

Knee (Lateral View)

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Knee bones and joint - Lateral or Side View
Knee bones and joint - Lateral or Side View

The lateral or side view of the knee shows the patella, or knee cap, relative to the femur and tibia.

The patella is a circular, triangular shaped bone that covers and protects the knee joint. The patella is attached to the tendon of the quadriceps femoris muscle, which contracts to extend or straighten the knee.

Knee injuries are quite common. Many sports place great pressure on the knees. If the knee is twisted, it is possible to tear one or more ligaments or cartilages.


Books on the Knee Bones

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