Friday, February 12, 2010

The Knee Joint

The human body with its complex anatomy is a remarkable machine…… remarkable in its durability and in its vulnerabilities.

There is perhaps nothing more vulnerable to common wear and tear than the joints as they are constantly moving and, at time, bear a lot of leverage and weight. Human joints are where two bones come together and articulate or move. There are four type of joints: ball and socket joint; hinge joint; pivot joint: and, fixed joint.
The Knees are a hinge joint moving much like a door however with some lateral and twisting movement which makes the knees vulnerable to damage, and probably sustain more injuries than the other joints in the human body.

The knee is where the femur (upper leg bone) and the Tibia and Fibula (lower leg bones) come together with a fourth bone, called the patella (knee cap) covering the connection of the leg bones.

The leg bones are connected with soft tissue elements called ligaments. There are four ligaments in this joint: the inner and outer ligaments (referred to by the Medical community as medial and lateral or MCL or LCL), and the front and back ligaments (called the anterior cruciate and posterior cruciate or ACL and PCL). All assist in stabilizing the knee as it extends, contracts and moves sidewise.

The other components of the knee joint include tendons, bursi and meniscus. The Bursi are fluid filled sacs that surround the knee and aid in the smooth movement and cushioning. The Meniscus is a “U” shaped piece of tissue that surrounds the knee, and also aid in cushioning. The Tendons connect the leg muscles to the bone which actually control the extension and contraction of the knee joint.

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