General information and anatomy of the Knee:
Anatomy of the knee
- Joints – there are two joints in the knee:
- Patellofemoral joint.
- Tibiofemoral joint (the joint that is usually referred to as ‘the knee joint’).
- Patella – the patellar tendon (also called patellar ligament) passes anteriorly to the patella. The medial retinaculum also gives support to the patella.
- Ligaments – stability to the tibiofemoral joint is provided by various ligaments:
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) – controls rotational movement and prevents forward movement of the tibia in relation to the femur. Runs between attachments on the front (hence, anterior cruciate) of the tibial plateau and the posterolateral aspect of the intercondylar notch of the femur.
- Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) – prevents forward sliding of the femur in relation to the tibial plateau. Runs between attachments on the posterior part (hence, posterior cruciate) of the tibial plateau and the medial aspect of the intercondylar notch of the femur.
- Medial collateral ligament (MCL) – prevents lateral movement of the tibia on the femur when valgus (away from the midline) stress is placed on the knee. Runs between the medial epicondyle of the femur and the anteromedial aspect of the tibia. Also has a deep attachment to the medial meniscus.
- Lateral collateral ligament (LCL) – prevents medial movement of the tibia on the femur when varus (towards the midline) stress is placed on the knee. Runs between the lateral epicondyle of the femur and head of the fibula.
- Menisci – the medial and lateral menisci are located within the knee joint, attached to the tibial plateau. They help to protect the articular surfaces by absorbing some of the forces transmitted through the knee. They also help to stabilise and lubricate the knee.