The Knee

Knee Anatomy

Knee Page
Anterior1                                                                                                                   Posterior2

Following is a brief overview of knee anatomy and common injuries. This information provides a foundation for the exercises and analyses provided on other pages of this site.

Knee Structures Include:

  • Bones
    • Femur (your thigh)
    • Tibia (your shin)
    • Patella (your knee cap)
  • Cartilage
    • Articular cartilage
    • Fibrocartilage (Menisci)
  • Ligaments
    • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
    • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)
    • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)
    • Lateral collateral ligament (LCL)
  • Muscle-Tendon Units
    • Quadriceps muscles and patellar tendon
      Knee 3
      Anterior View3
      • Vastus lateralis
      • Vastus intermedius
      • Vastus medialis
      • Rectus femoris
    • Hamstring muscles and their tendons
      • Semimembranosus
      • Semitendonosus
      • Biceps femoris (short and long heads)
    • Gastrocnemius muscle
      • Medial and lateral heads

Refer to the OrthoInfo website from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons for more information on the knee, its structures, and their functions.

Common Knee Injuries
Any of the many knee structures can be injured, resulting in:

  • Fractures to the bones around the knee
  • Knee vascular damage resulting from dislocation
  • Sprains and tears of soft tissues
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries
  • Posterior Collateral Ligament (PCL) Injuries
  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Injuries
  • Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) Injuries
  • Meniscal Tears
  • Tendon Tears

Typical symptoms of knee injuries:

  • Pain and swelling
  • Knee catching or locking up
  • Knee instability and/or giving way

For more information on knee injuries, how they occur, and their treatments, refer to the OrthoInfo website from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

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