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Learn the Anatomy of the Knee

Knee Injury

Viewing an image of the anatomy of the knee is an easy way to understand that the knee is one of the most complex and largest joints in the body. It is made to hold the weight of an individual′s body while providing fluid movement.

The knee is composed of two joints that form a movable joint that allows the leg to bend and move. The patellofemoral joint works to join the kneecap to the femur. The tibiofemoral joint joins the tibia to the femur.

Anatomy of the Knee

There are roughly nine components that make up the anatomy of the knee.

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) – It is located in the heart of the knee joint. This ligament connects the femur to the tibia. It limits the range of the knee rotation and the forward motion of the tibia.
  • Articular Cartilage – Cartilage acts as a cushion for the bones. This particular cartilage is located at the top of the knee protecting the lower part of the femur.
  • Femur – It is the bone in the upper part of the body′s legs, otherwise known as the thighbone.
  • Fibula – This is the smallest leg bone located below the knee next to the tibia.
  • Lateral Collateral Ligaments (LCL) – This band of ligaments run on the outside of the knee. It connects the femur and tibia and adds stability to the knee by limiting sideways motion.
  • Medial Collateral Ligaments (MCL) – This band of ligaments attach the leg bones and run on the inside of the knee. It also helps to stabilize the knee by limiting movement.
  • Meniscus – It acts as a cushion that protects the upper portion of the tibia as it meets the femur.
  • Patella – This small diamond shaped bone is also called the kneecap.
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) – It helps to connect the femur and tibia. It also limits backward motion of the tibia.
  • Tibia – It is the larger of the lower leg bones.
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