Knee pain is the most common muscular skeletal complaint that brings people
to their doctor. With today's increasingly active society, the number of knee
problems is increasing. Knee pain has a wide variety of specific causes and
The knee joint's main function is to bend, straighten, and bear the weight of the
body along with the ankles and hips. The knee is more than just a simple hinged
joint, it also twists and rotates. In order to perform all of these actions and to
support the entire body while doing so, the knee relies on a number of structures
including bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage

The knee joint involves 4 bones. The thighbone or
femur comprises the top portion of the joint.
One of the bones in the lower leg (or calf area),
the tibia, provides the bottom weight-bearing
portion of the joint. The kneecap or patella rides
along the front of the femur. The remaining bone
in the calf, the fibula, is not involved in the
weight-bearing portion of the knee joint but
provides ligament attachments for stability.

Ligaments are dense fibrous bands
that connect bones to each other.
The knee includes 4 important
ligaments, all of which connect the
femur to the tibia: the anterior
cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterior
cruciate ligament (PCL) provide
front and back (anterior and
posterior) and rotational stability to
the knee; the medial collateral
ligament (MCL) and lateral collateral
ligament (LCL) located along the
inner (medial) and outer (lateral) sides
of the knee provide medial and lateral
stability to the knee.

Tendons are fibrous bands similar to
ligaments. Instead of connecting bones to
other bones as ligaments do, tendons
connect muscles to bones. The 2 important
tendons in the knee are (1) the quadriceps
tendon connecting the quadriceps muscle,
which lies on the front of the thigh, to the
patella and (2) the patellar tendon
connecting the patella to the tibia  
The quadriceps and patellar tendons together
with the quadriceps muscle  facilitate leg
extension (straightening).

Cartilaginous structures called menisci
(one is a meniscus) line the top of the
tibia and lie between the tibia and the
2 knuckles at the bottom of the femur
(called the femoral condyles).
The menisci's primary job is to provide
cushioning for the knee joint.

Bursae (one is a bursa) are fluid-filled
sacs that help to cushion the knee.
The knee contains 3 important groups
of bursae: The prepatellar bursae lie in
front of the patella. The anserine bursae
is located on the inner side of the knee
about 2 inches below the joint.
The infrapatellar bursae are located
underneath the patella

                           Call now 619-574-0554
Chronic Knee Center of San Diego
Performing Non-Surgical Knee Procedures
Rudy A. Reyes, D.C.
Knee Anatomy

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