The knee joint is one of the primary weight-bearing joints of the body. It is important for movement and is also one of the biggest joints, which makes it is susceptible to injury and prone to wear and tear as we age. Our knee surgeons are highly trained in treating both acute injuries, and the long-term damage that degrades the knee over time. A range of treatment options are available at Parkview, from conservative measures to surgical treatment when necessary. Read on to learn more about the knee.
The knee is responsible for movement and weight-bearing and is a hinge joint. It is made up of bones, tendons, ligaments and cartilage. There are several functions that the knee is designed to perform, and these include acting as a shock absorber, helping raise and lower the body, supporting the body in an upright position, allowing the leg to twist, propelling the body forward, and walking more efficiently.
BONES OF THE KNEE
There are three main bones which make up the knee. These are the kneecap (patella), shin bone (tibia), and thigh bone (femur). These bones are all held together by the knee joint. The kneecap is a small bone shaped like a triangle which sits in the quadriceps muscles at the front of the knee.
CARTILAGE OF THE KNEE
There are two different types of cartilage that are found in the knee — the meniscus and the articular cartilage.
The menisci are small discs shaped like crescents, which act as cushions or shock absorbers to allow the various bones of the knee to move fluently without rubbing against one another. There are nerves in the menisci which are responsible for improving stability and balance. These nerves allow proper weight distribution between the shin bone and the thigh bone.
The articular cartilage is a thin layer of cartilage that is found at the back of the patella, top of the tibia, and the femur. It performs like a shock absorber and is responsible for letting the bones move smoothly.
LIGAMENTS OF THE KNEE
The ligaments are fibrous and tough tissues, which are responsible for connecting the bones to one another, promoting stability, and preventing a lot of motion. The knee is comprised of four ligaments, which are known as:
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
- Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL)
- Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)
- Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)
TENDONS OF THE KNEE
These are soft tissue that acts like tough bands to give joint stability. They act like ligaments and are responsible for connecting bone to the muscle. The patellar tendon is the biggest tendon in the knee. It covers the kneecap, goes up the thigh, and is attached to the quadriceps.
COMMON KNEE CONDITIONS
- Baker’s cysts
- Bursitis of the knee
- Deep Vein Thrombosis
- Dislocation/subluxation of knee joints (kneecap instability)
- Fractures of the knee
- Knee ligament injuries & tears (ACL, MCL, PCL & LCL)
- Loosening or wear of internal knee prosthesis
- Meniscus tears/Internal derangement of the knee
- Osteoarthritis of the knee
- Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD)
- Patellar tendonitis (Jumper’s knee)
- Runner’s knee – Chondromalacia & IT band syndrome
- Shin splints
- Sprains and strains of the knee
COMMON TREATMENTS FOR KNEE CONDITIONS
- Arthroscopy of the knee
- Computer-assisted surgical navigation for knee surgery
- Joint manipulation of the knee
- Ligament repair/reconstruction (arthroscopic)
- Meniscectomy & meniscus repair (arthroscopic)
- Partial knee replacement
- Revision Total Knee Arthroplasty
- Surgical treatment of knee fractures
- Total Knee Arthroplasty
- Ultrasound-Guided Cortisone (Steroid) Injections
- Ultrasound-Guided Viscosupplementation or “Gel Shots”
All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.
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