Anatomy of the Human Knee - Infographic February 2, 2017 23:33

The knee is one of the largest and most important joints in the human body as it connects the upper (femur) and lower (tibia) leg. 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 and provide stability, as well as 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 Crutiate Ligament - The ACL lies deep within the knee joint and provide significant stability to the joint. For atheletes especially, it is one of the most commonly injured and discussed ligament in knee joint.

The Posterior Crutiate Ligament - The PCL connects the back of the tibia to the femur and stops the shinbone or tibia from moving backwards 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 Crutiate Ligaments - MCL & LCL, stabilize the side to side movement of the femur in relation to the knee. The MCL is also a commoly 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 kneethat act as shock absorbers to help suck up impact to the knee joint. Tears to the meniscus can result pain and mobilty issues.

Check out our infographic below for a visual breakdown of the anatomy of the human knee:


Knee Anatomy ACL PCL MCL Patella Tibia

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