Knee Joint Anatomy


Anatomy for any part of the body best describes its functions, which help to identify with any problem better. Knee joint is described as a hinge type of synovial joint that facilitate the flexion and the expansion of the muscles. These flexion and expansion are basically the result of expression of major 3 parts recognized as femur, tibia and patella. Knee joints also feature the function of rotation to the medial and lateral extent of degrees. Muscle and ligaments of the knee are greatly responsible for the knee, joining stability because knee joint is very weak in nature. Knee in the body helps in the leg movement and other significant functions in the body. Although knee functions in regular manners for day to day activities, but some factors such as damaging due to injuries, age and sometimes over utilization can lead to malfunction and damage of the knees. Careful study and anatomy is therefore important for the treatment.

The articulation:

Two categories of articulation in the knee of the human that aid in its proper working is the Tibiofemoral and the Patellofemoral. Complete description is:

  • Tibiofemoral: The chief weight carrying articulation in the knee joint is Tibiofemoral. This part is the lateral and medial condyles of the femur. They are in coordination with the tibial.
  • Palettofemoral: This is the source among both articulates. Herein the upper and lower division of the femur coherent with patella.

The structure of knee

Knee joint is considered to be the largest joint in the human body. This knee joint adjoins the thigh and the leg. The knee joint also accompanies couple of articulations. The one exist among the tibia and femur and the other between the patella and femur. The knee in the body are resembled as trocho-ginglymus that enables interior and exterior rotation along with expansion and flexion. This part of the body is very receptive towards any serious injury and the increase of osteoarthritis.

The Meniscus

Other noticeable part of the knee anatomy to be described is menisci. These menisci are of lateral and medial type. The attaching of the medial meniscus is set to joint capsule segment in addition to tibial ligament. The other part of fibrous cartilage formation of the knee is in a C shape. These both parts are interconnected. Hence, if there is damage or injury to tibial ligament, it affects meniscus ligament and it gets torn.

Whereas the lateral meniscus is comparatively smaller segment and possess two basic functions. Those are as follows-

  • They operate as the shock absorbers
  • They also help in increasing stability of the joint by intensifying the tibia surface.

The Ligaments

Ligament in the knees have many of the joints which are source full for several purposes. Detailed information of the ligaments is-

  • Collateral ligaments – Chief and significant ligament among all others is Collateral ligaments. These are in the shape of straps and have two major types. These two are-
  • Tibial collateral ligament: This is found on the medial side of the knee joint. It is flat and wide in its structure. This ligament is connected to the medial epicondyle of the femur and the medial surface of the tibia.
  • The fibular collateral ligament: A completely contrary of Tibial collateral ligament is the fibular collateral ligament that is structured as round and thin. It also gets involved in the lateral surface of the fibular head.

The important feature of these ligaments is to stabilise and enable motion in the knee.

  • Patellar Ligament – This ligament remained connected to the tibial tuberosity and is the continuation of the quadriceps.
  • The Cruciate Ligaments – This type of ligaments is also divided into two other among itself. The two ligaments associate the femur and the tibia. They are crossing each other in their structure and hence contribute to the name “cruciate”. The two ligaments are the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments.

Function of knee joint

Knee joint is the most vital joint in the human body. It helps an individual to carry out day to activities of walking, running, and jumping.

The surfaces of knee joint

Knee in the body is a kind if axis to the legs. It consists of three major resourceful sections. They are categorised as femoropatellar articulation, the medial femorotibial articulations and the patellar and the lateral. The knee joint is all surrounded by the synovial liquid that is also covered by synovial membrane. This membrane is also sometimes called as joint capsule. There is also a part of the human knee, which now a tome subject of research and studies for the doctors and it is the posterolateral corner of the knee.

Articular bodies

Particular bodies of the femur are medial and lateral condyles. These bodies diverge back and front. Lateral condyle is the part that is larger in size and situates in front.

What kinds of muscles are situated on the knee joint?

Knee joint has varied muscles attached within it. The muscle that regulates movement of this joint is any of the posterior, anterior or medial section of the thigh. Flexors in the knee stay to the posterior whereas extensors by and large fit in the frontal.

Kind of problem, knee joints can face

Any problem can occur to a patient that is related to the knee. Most prevalent among all is Arthritis categorizing in its various parts.


Unbearable pain, swelling, cramps or contractions in muscles, bones, ligaments and mainly joints are termed as Arthritis. It has become the regular disease in today’s population. Arthritis is also has a varied types and its effects. Common and frequent type is Osteoarthritis. Many reasons can turn out to be the cause for Osteoarthritis. Main target category of this disease is women. Studies and research signify that 92% of women suffered from this type. Main reasons can be immune diseases, unhealthy diet, imbalanced weight, age, daily stress, imbalanced weight, mal nutrition and imbalanced weight.

Medications used for healing problems regarding knee joint

Surgeries are the best option if the knee pain persists for a long time. Keyhole surgery is one of the options. Keyhole surgery has two types that are ACL reconstruction and the PCL reconstruction.

Keyhole surgery

Keyhole surgery in its most common form is called Laparoscopic surgery, which is also acknowledged as minimally invasive surgery. This is the modern and up to date version of the surgery where the option of smaller incisions is made other than the knee or the injured area. The sizes of cuts are usually 0.5–1.5 cm.

Taking care of knee-joints?

Any part of the body that demands surgery, demands the care first. Knee joint is the problem where the patient has to be extra careful. Proper treatment should also be done by an experienced surgeon .A patient should take proper medication as per doctor’s guidance. Proper precautions are a main step towards recovery. Regular check-up follow-ups is highly advisable for a patient. Doctor’s guidance is should be accurately followed after and before the surgery.


Articular capsule?

Synovial covering which is situated in the frame of the cartilages on the tibia and the femur helps in expanding the joint space. And the articular capsule is connected by a fibrous and synovial membrane that is separated by fatty deposits.

Dr Dhananjay Gupta

Dr Dhananjay Gupta
Director and Senior Consultant,
Orthopaedics and Joint Reconstruction and Replacement Surgeon
Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital, Vasant Kunj, Delhi.