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Knee

Normal Anatomy of the Knee Joint

The knee is made up of four bones. The femur or thighbone is the bone connecting the hip to the knee. The tibia or shinbone connects the knee to the ankle. The patella (kneecap) is the small bone in front of the knee and rides on the knee joint as the knee bends. The fibula is a shorter and thinner bone running parallel to the tibia on its outside. The joint acts like a hinge but with some rotation.

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ACL Tear

The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is one of the major ligaments of the knee that is located in the middle of the knee and runs from the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone). It prevents the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur. Together with posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) it provides rotational stability to the knee.

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PCL Tear

Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), one of four major ligaments of the knee is situated at the back of the knee. It connects the thighbone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia). The PCL limits the backward motion of the shinbone.

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MCL Tear

The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is the ligament that is located on the inner part of the knee joint. It runs from the femur (thighbone) to the top of the tibia (shinbone) and helps in stabilizing the knee. Medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury can result in a stretch, partial tear, or complete tear of the ligament. Injuries to the MCL commonly occur as a result of a pressure or stress on the outside part of the knee. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) may be torn along with a MCL injury.

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LCL Injury

Lateral collateral ligament (LCL) is a thin set of tissues present on the outer side of the knee, connecting the thighbone (femur) to the fibula (side bone of lower leg). It provides stability as well as limits the sidewise rotation of the knee. Tear or injury of LCL may cause instability of the knee that can be either reconstructed or repaired to regain the strength and movement of the knee.

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Meniscus Tear

Meniscus tear is the commonest knee injury in athletes, especially those involved in contact sports. A suddenly bend or twist in your knee cause the meniscus to tear. This is a traumatic meniscus tear. Elderly people are more prone to degenerative meniscal tears as the cartilage wears out and weakens with age. The two wedge-shape cartilage pieces present between the thighbone and the shinbone are called meniscus. They stabilize the knee joint and act as “shock absorbers”.

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Articular Cartilage Lesions

Cartilage is a tough, flexible connective tissue present in the body and is responsible for various functions. Articular cartilage covers the surfaces of a joint and reduces the friction between the individual bones and acts as a shock absorber. It supports the joint during weight bearing, through the range of motion needed for daily activities.

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Patella Dislocation and Instability

Patella is the small piece of bone in front of the knee that slides up and down the femoral groove (groove in the femur bone) during bending and stretching movements. The ligaments on the inner and outer sides of patella hold it in the femoral groove and avoid dislocation of patella from the groove.

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Patellofemoral Instability

The knee can be divided into three compartments: patellofemoral, medial and lateral compartment. The patellofemoral compartment is the compartment in the front of the knee between the knee cap and thigh bone. The medial compartment is the area on the inside portion of the knee, and the lateral compartment is the area on the outside portion of the knee joint. Patellofemoral instability means that the patella (kneecap) moves out of its normal pattern of alignment.

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Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs most often in older people. This disease affects the tissue covering the ends of bones in a joint (cartilage).In a person with osteoarthritis, the cartilage becomes damaged and worn out causing pain, swelling, stiffness and restricted movement in the affected joint.

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Osteonecrosis of the Knee

Osteonecrosis is a condition in which death of a section of bone occurs because of lack of blood supply to it. It is one of the most common causes of knee pain in older women. Women over the age of 60 years of age are commonly affected, three times more often than men.

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Knee Fracture

A fracture is a condition in which there is break in the continuity of the bone. In younger individuals these fractures are caused from high energy injuries, as from a motor vehicle accident. In older people the most common cause is weak and fragile bone.

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Anterior Cruciate Ligament ACL Reconstruction

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is surgery to reconstruct the torn ligament of your knee with a tissue graft. Anterior cruciate ligament is one of the four major ligaments of the knee that connects the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone) and helps stabilize the knee joint.

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PCL Reconstruction

Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), one of four major ligaments of the knee is situated at the back of the knee. It connects the thighbone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia). The PCL limits the backward motion of the shinbone.

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MCL Reconstruction

The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is the ligament that is located on the inner part of the knee joint. It runs from the femur (thighbone) to the top of the tibia (shinbone) and helps in stabilizing the knee. Medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury can result in a stretch, partial tear, or complete tear of the ligament.

Find out more about MCL Reconstruction with the following links

LCL Reconstruction

Lateral collateral ligament (LCL) is a thin set of tissues present on the outer side of the knee, connecting the thighbone (femur) to the fibula (side bone of lower leg). It provides stability as well as limits the sidewise rotation of the knee. Tear or injury of LCL may cause instability of the knee that can be either reconstructed or repaired to regain the strength and movement of the knee.

Find out more about LCL Reconstruction with the following link

Meniscal Repair

Meniscus tear is the commonest knee injury in athletes, especially those involved in contact sports. A sudden bend or twist in your knees causes meniscal tear. This is a traumatic meniscus tear. Elderly people are more prone to degenerative meniscal tears as the cartilage wears out and weakens with age.

Find out more about Meniscal Repair with the following link

Arthroscopy of the Knee Joint

Knee Arthroscopy is a common surgical procedure performed using an arthroscope, a viewing instrument, to look into the knee joint to diagnose or treat a knee problem. It is a relatively safe procedure and a majority of the patient’s discharge from the hospital on the same day of surgery.

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Osteotomy

Osteotomy is a surgical procedure wherein a wedge of bone is removed near the degenerated joint and the remaining bone is trimmed and realigned. The surgery aims to ease pain and restore function to the affected joint.

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Subchondroplasty

The knee is a complex joint which consists of bone, cartilage, ligaments and tendons that make joint movements easy. The joint surface is covered by a smooth articular surface that allows pain free movement in the joint. This surface can wear out for a number of reasons; often the definite cause is not known.

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Click on the topics below to find out more from the orthopaedic connection website of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

  • CSC
  • TSOC
  • Beaumont Hospitals
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS)
  • Cottage Health