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5 Facts About Your Knees!

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And how they are Structured…

Knees are small but almost everything you do with your legs requires your knees! Their hinging action allows your legs to bend and straighten, which you need for standing, walking, crouching, jumping, and turning.

You might know how often you use them but here are five fascinating facts about knees that might surprise you & learn how knees are structured.

1. Babies are born without kneecaps.

2. The knee is the largest joint in the body!

3. You can walk without a kneecap.

4. For such a small part of the body, it’s prone to many problems.

5. Kneecaps are like fingerprints, no two are the same!

The knee is a hinge joint that is responsible for weight-bearing and movement. It consists of bones, meniscus, ligaments, and tendons. They all work together to perform several important functions including; helping to lower and raise the body, provide stability, act as a shock absorber, allow the twisting of the leg and to help propel the body forward

Bones – The femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone), and patella (kneecap) make up the bones of the knee. The patella is a small, triangle-shaped bone that sits at the front of the knee, within the quadriceps muscle. It is lined with the thickest layer of cartilage in the body because it endures a great deal of force when straightening the knee joint.

Cartilage – There are two types:

Meniscus: these are crescent-shaped discs that act as a cushion, or “shock absorber” so that the bones of the knee can move through their range of motion without rubbing directly against each other. The menisci also contain nerves that help improve balance and stability and ensure the correct weight distribution between the femur and tibia.

Articular cartilage: found on the femur, the top of the tibia, and the back of the patella; it is a thin, shiny layer of cartilage. It acts as a shock absorber and helps bones move smoothly over one another.

LigamentsLigaments are tough and fibrous tissues; they act like strong wires to connect bones to other bones, preventing too much motion and promoting stability.

ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and PCL (posterior cruciate ligament)- which stops the Tibia sliding backwards and forwards on the Femur and vice versa.

MCL (medial collateral ligament) and LCL (lateral collateral ligament)- which prevents side to side movement of the femur.

Tendons These tough bands of soft tissue provide stability to the joint. They are similar to ligaments, but instead of linking bone to bone, they connect bone to muscle. The largest tendon in the knee is the patellar tendon, which covers the kneecap, runs up the thigh, and attaches to the quadriceps.

Muscles – There are 4 quadriceps that straighten the knee and 3 hamstrings muscles at the back of the thigh that bend the knee. Both of which are vitally important for your day to day activities as well as sports performance.

The Gluteus Medius and Minimus muscles – also known as the glutes are in the buttocks and are vitally important for maintaining the alignment of the knee and reducing twisting forces.

Joint Capsule and Bursa

The joint capsule is a fibrous membrane bag that surrounds the knee joint. It is filled with a liquid called synovial fluid, which lubricates and nourishes the joint. This is produced by approximately 14 small fluid-filled sacs called Bursa within the knee joint. They reduce friction between the tissues of the knee and prevent Inflammation.

Now you know 5 fascinating facts and how Knees are structured!

If you suffer with aches or pains in your knees, get in touch today and let us help you get back on your feet (or knees!) pain-free.

If you any questions or would like to book a session don’t hesitate to call us on 01285 654059 and we can put your mind at ease.

For more on Knee pain click here http://www.marklandclinic.com/your-body/knee-pain/

George Stacey-Stevens

Physiotherapist at the Markland Clinic   

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