Our knees are pretty complicated structures that we all rely on every day to allow us to stand, walk, or run. They allow us to have tremendous mobility and when our knees become injured we realize how much we take mobility for granted.
Our knees are made up of 7 main components.
- Blood Vessels
There several medical terms you need to know about to understand all the moving parts of the knee. Anytime someone uses the term “Medial” that refers to the part of the knee that is on the inside and closest to the other knee. When they mention the term “Lateral” that means the part of the knee on the outside or furthest from the other knee. The term Anterior is referring to the front part of the knee and the term “Posterior” is talking about the rear of the knee.
The knee is the joint where the Femur and the Tibia meet and the Patella (also known as the knee cap) is made of bone and is in front of the knee. Femoral Condyles are found on the end of the Femur and rest on the top of the Tibia which is called the Tibial plateau. The Femur and the Tibia are covered in Articular cartilage which is about a quarter of an inch thick and is white with a rubbery consistancy and also is a bit slippery so that two surfaces can slide against one and other so that we can bend our knee without it binding and causing pain. The Articular cartilage also allows the joint to absorb shocks such as when we are running.
Another very important part of the knee joint is the ligaments. These are tough bands of tissue that connects the ends of bones together. Two important ligaments are found on either side of the knee. You have probably heard people talk about how they have torn their MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) or their LCL (Lateral collateral ligament). Inside the knee there are two other very important ligaments called the ACL (Anterior cruciate ligament) in the front and the PCL (Posterior cruciate ligament) in the back. The MCL and the LCL control the side to side motion of the knee and the ACL and the PCL control the front to back motion of the knee.
There are two more special types of ligaments that are between the Tibia and Femur called the Lateral meniscus and the Medial meniscus. These work like a gasket and help the ligaments with the stability of the knee.
If you are having problems with your knees try visiting your chiropractor
For a more detailed explanation watch the graphic demonstration below.