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.