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Facts About the Human Knee

Posted by Joanna Culley on

It is a proven fact that without our knees in a healthy condition, it would be impossible for us to perform any action with our lower body, and in particular, to perform anything that involves our legs. Knees are the biggest, most stressed and most complex synovial joints in our entire body, and one of the most important along with the hip. They allow our tibias, kneecaps, fibulas and femurs to be attached and hinge, so we can run, walk, jump, kick, among other different physical activities.

Although they tend to be very resistant, knees are prone to constant injuries. When walking, knees bear around 1,5 times our body weight, and around 8 times when we squat. The structure that absorbs these shocks and prevents our bones from collapsing are the tough and rubbery fibrocartilage known as meniscus. These discs act as cushions and are shaped like and 8 and are located between the femur and the tibia, so that the bones of the knee can move without rubbing against each other.

Losing weight can help your knees

There are five principal ligaments that act like stretch bands on top of the knees’ four main bones; they attach the bones together and keep them in place. However, the heavier one person is, the more stress is added up to the ligaments and kneecaps; obesity can lead to the development of diseases like osteoarthritis. This is why when you lose weight, you are also reducing pain and inflammation to your knees.

The knee has its own fat pads

Articular fat pads are adipose tissue around our knees that help to protect the knee from additional external stress. The largest of these pads helps the patella or kneecap to move alongside the patellar ligament and cushion when you extend or flex the knee.

Your kneecaps are unique

Our patella or kneecap structure resembles our fingerprints because nobody is born with the same pattern and the only way this could be achieved is through extensive reconstructive surgery.

Your fluid sacs are called bursa

Surrounding and inside our knees we have around 13 bursa, which are fluid-filled sacs located on the medial and lateral side of tendons and ligaments and prevent friction between bones and muscles of the area. The largest one is called the prepatellar bursa and it protects your kneecap from trauma. When bursae get injured or infected, they can become irritated, swollen and very painful; this is known as bursitis.

The longest bone in the body is close to the knee

The name of this bone is the femur, and it has two round knobs at each end called condyles. One of these condyles is inside the knee joint, and covered with articular cartilage or hyaline.

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