The knee joint is a extremely complex structure. It consists of two joints made from three bones: femur, tibia and patella. All joint surfaces are enclosed with hyaline articular cartilage. Injuries to the knee occur at alarming rate in all age groups. Sports activities are important parts of our lives. The knee is injured more repeatedly than any other joint in the body.
Some knee problems are not injury linked - generalized spontaneous aching and swelling usually suggest a degenerative process or arthritis.
Over the past decade, the diagnosis and management of knee disorders have been improved significantly. Early diagnosis, both clinically and radio logically, better understanding of knee biomechanics The types of knee injuries vary - ranging from simple muscle strains, contusions and bruises to severe injuries of ligaments and articulating surfaces. Serious damage to the knee joint can increase the risk of fast wear-tear and long-term disability.
BASIC KNEE ANTOMY
The tibio-femoral joint has medial and lateral compartments. The medial and lateral femoral condyles articulate with the medial and lateral tibial plateaus. The patella covers the front of the knee. The patello-femoral joint is the articulation of the patella with the femoral trochlea. All joint surfaces are covered with hyaline articular cartilage.
The quadriceps mechanism proximal to the patella consists of the vastus lateralis, rectus femoris, vastus intermedius and vastus medialis. The most distal and medial part of the vastus medialis is the vastus medialis obliquus. The quadriceps mechanism is continuous with the medial and lateral retinacula, which attach to and course along either side of the patella before inserting into the tibia. The quadriceps tendon attaches superiorly, and the band-like patellar tendon extends inferiorly towards the tibial tubercle. The prepatellar bursa and the superficial infrapatellar bursa allow the overlaying skin to move easily over the deeper structures.
The four major ligaments involved in knee stability are the medial collateral ligament (MCL), lateral collateral ligament (LCL), anterior crucuate ligament (ACL), and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). Although medial stability is provided mainly by the MCL, the lilotibial band (ITB), lateral capsule, politeus tendon, LCL, biceps femoris, and lateral head of the gastrocnemius muscle all contribute to lateral stability. The tibial surface is partially covered by the medial and lateral menisci, which attach to the tibia by the coronary ligaments.