Time to get to know the knee joint so I can take better care of it.
Introduction to knee joint anatomy The knee joint is the largest joint in the body, consisting of 4 bones and an extensive network of ligaments and muscles. Injuries to the knee joint are amongst the most common in sporting activities and understanding the anatomy of the joint is fundamental in understanding any subsequent pathology.
Bones of the knee joint The knee is made up of four main bones- the femur (thigh bone), the tibia (shin bone), fibula (outer shin bone) and patella (kneecap). The main movements of the knee joint occur between the femur, patella and tibia. Each are covered in articular cartilage which is an extremely hard, smooth substance designed to decrease the frictional forces as movement occurs between the bones. The patella lies in an indentation at the lower end of the femur known as the intercondylar groove. At the outer surface of the tibia lies the fibula, a long thin bone that travels right down to the ankle joint.
The knee joint capsuleThe joint capsule is a thick ligamentous structure that surrounds the entire knee. Inside this capsule is a specialized membrane known as the synovial membrane which provides nourishment to all the surrounding structures. Other structures include the infrapatellar fat pad and bursa which function as cushions to exterior forces on the knee. The capsule itself is strengthened by the surrounding ligaments.
A funny bit of EDS humor. My dad is likely who I inherited all this from although he has not been diagnosed with EDS yet - he avoids doctors like the plague. But he told me, "Once your knees start hurting, you pretty much forget all your other pains." Gee thanks dad! :)