Knee pain is very common problem in these days. The knee joint in our body is a complex weight-bearing joint. Usually, its function is to help the person with mobility and perform activities such as sitting, bending of the legs, running, jumping, swimming, etc. It is complex, as it consists of many bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and menisci. All these work together to make the knee joint function smoothly.
Still, when there is an injury to the knee joint, or sudden twisting of the leg, or wear-and-tear of the cartilage present inside the knee joint, this causes pain. Besides it, there may also be swelling associated with knee pain. In addition, there are other causes such as due to age, physical activity, having a larger body mass index (BMI), etc.
Knee pain is a cause of great concern and immediate action regarding its evaluation needs to be taken. Visit your physician if your knee pains for the very first time, after evaluation, he may prescribe a medication or prescribe alternative therapy.
A good understanding of the knee anatomy will help you in better understanding of the knee pain. How does it function? Why is it important to take proper care of the knee? And what to do after knowing that the person is suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee.
Humans have two knee joints. The Knee joint is a common place where the thigh bone’s lower part, tibia’s upper part and back of the patella come together and forms this joint. All these three bones meet at the knee joint. Cartilage covers the common part of the bones and helps glide over each other. Moreover, cartilage is an extremely smooth, flexible, and hard material that is a translucent bluish-white present in the joints, the respiratory tract, and the immature skeleton. In the joints, it helps the femur, tibia and the patella glide over each other smoothly, with the least resistance, giving a frictionless movement to the knee joints.
Next, the patella is a sesamoid type of bone that is kept in place by the largest tendon called the patellar tendon. A tendon is a very flexible and strong tissue that connects the tibia to the quadriceps muscles. Specifically, when connecting the tibia to the quadriceps muscle, it covers the knee cap (patella). This patella helps in restricting the movement of the joint. Ligaments are flexible strong connective tissues that connect one bone to another.
In the knee joint, there are four types of ligaments. They are:
- The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL): This ligament controls the extension of the tibia and monitors its rotation. It is located in the center of the knee joint.
- The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL): This ligament controls the flexion (bending) of the leg and is located in the center of the knee joint.
- The medial collateral ligament (MCL): This ligament provides inner knee stability.
- The lateral collateral ligament (LCL): This ligament provides outer knee stability.
Tendons are made of connective tissue that contains collagen fibers. These collagen fibers are very strong. Inside the knee, there are many tendons that keep the knee joint in stable condition. To straighten the leg, patellar tendon works and for flexing hamstring works.
There are two shock absorbers inside the knee joint. Meniscus is a C-shaped fibrocartilaginous tissue. Medial meniscus is nearer to the center and lateral is away from the center.
The meniscus is placed between the ends of the femur and tibia bones. It is a flexible and hard tissue. After all, it takes all the shock received by the legs while performing activities of high intensity for example: running, jumping, skipping, etc. By absorbing all the shock, the menisci protect the bones from getting damaged.
The articular capsule of the joint capsule engulfs the joints such as that of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee, hand, etc. Fibrous stratum is a tough outer layer and synovium is the soft inside layer. The synovial fluid lies between these two layers. Synovial fluids are a viscous liquid that lubricates the joint. Lubrication helps in reducing the friction on the articular surface during the movements of the bones over it.
Apart from the menisci, there are nearly 13 bursae of various sizes inside and outside the knee joint. These bursae are fluid-filled and give the cushioning effect on the joint and reducing the friction between muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments. The patella has a special bursa over it known as a prepatellar bursa, which is the largest bursae of the knee joint and protects the patella.
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Tags: Joint pain, Knee pain, Knee Pain Treatment