Anatomy of the Human Knee - Infographic
Human Knee Anatomy
The knee is one of the largest and most important joints in the human body as it connects the upper and lower leg - also known as the femur and the tibia (or shinbone). The muscles that move the knee are connected by tendons to the knee bones. In addition to these bones, the joint is comprised of ligaments, which connect the knee bones to each other and help to provide stability. The knee also contains menisci and cartilage which function as shock absorbers and allow the joint to move with less friction.
The main ligaments connecting the bones and providing stability to the knee are:
The Anterior Cruciate Ligament
The ACL lies deep within the knee joint and provides significant stability to the joint. For athletes especially, it is one of the most commonly injured and discussed ligaments in the knee joint.
The Posterior Cruciate Ligament
The PCL connects the back of the tibia to the femur and stops the shinbone or tibia from moving backward in relation to the knee. It is an extremely tough and resilient ligament. At nearly twice the size of the ACL, a lot of force is required to completely rupture the PCL.
The Medial & Lateral Cruciate Ligaments
MCL & LCL, stabilize the side to side movement of the femur in relation to the knee. The MCL is also a commonly injured ligament. It is found on the inside of the knee joint and connects to the top of the shinbone, or tibia, and to the bottom of the thighbone or femur. The LCL also connects the tibia and femur but is found on the outside of the knee.
Articular Cartilage is a special connective tissue that is slippery and limits friction between the knee bones
The medial and lateral meniscus are the wedge-shaped pads within the knee that act as shock absorbers to help suck up impact to the knee joint. Tears to the meniscus can result in pain and mobility issues.
Check out our infographic below for a visual breakdown of the anatomy of the human knee: