The Amazing Knee
The knee joint is one of the most amazing joints in the body; it is also the most abused. The knee is subjected to a great deal of stress and weight every time you put your foot on the ground. The more you weigh and the more vigorous your activity, the more stress you place on the joint. Understanding how the knee works can help you protect it from injury.
The knee joint is composed of four bones:
- the thigh bone (femur)
- shin bone (tibia)
- smaller shin bone (fibula)
- knee cap (patella)
These four bones are connected by muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and together these structures allow you to move and keep your knee joint stable, aligned, and healthy.
Another integral part of the knee structure is cartilage. This gel-like, elastic tissue is a security and shock-absorber system rolled into one: it prevents the ends of the knee bones from banging and grinding against each other whenever your knee moves, and it absorbs the shock that impacts your knee every time you walk, run, jog, squat, climb stairs, or even stand.
If you are an athlete, you may be familiar with the term torn cartilage. This refers to damage to a layer of thick cartilage called the meniscus. The meniscus cushions the meeting point of the tibia and femur and absorbs the impact from movement while also helping to stabilize the knee joint. The knee joint also contains articular cartilage, a smooth tissue that covers the underside of the patella and lines the area of the femur so these bones can move effortlessly whenever you bend and straighten your knee.
Because of the stress put on this large joint, knee pain and injuries are common. The most common knee problems include:
Each case is unique, but treatments for these conditions range from ice and rest to physical therapy, or in some cases surgery is required.
If you are experiencing knee pain or problems, schedule a consultation with Dr. Raj. He can help you get back to doing the things you love.
Read more about the knee online at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/kneeinjuriesanddisorders.html