Knee Injury Explained
The knee joint connects the upper and lower portions of the leg and allows it to bend and straighten - and even rotate inward and outward. It is a hinge-like joint, designed to facilitate movement and bear weight.
It is made up of four bones, the largest being the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (large shin bone), which go head-to-head within the knee joint and bear the brunt of the impact of movement. The smaller two are the fibula (smaller shin bone), which sits to the side of and slightly under the tibia, and the patella (knee cap), which acts like a shield to protect the knee joint from trauma. Several muscles, tendons and ligaments connect these four bones, make movement possible, and help keep the knee joint aligned and stable.
The head of the fibula (strut bone on the outside of the leg) provides some stability, and the patella (kneecap) helps with joint and muscle function. Movement and weight-bearing occur where the ends of the femur called the femoral condyles match up with the top flat surfaces of the tibia (tibial plateaus).
There are two major muscle groups that are balanced and allow movement of the knee joint. When the quadriceps muscles on the front of the thigh contract, the knee extends or straightens. The hamstring muscles on the back of the thigh flex or bend the knee when they contract. The muscles cross the knee joint and are attached to the tibia by tendons. The quadriceps tendon is a little special, in that it contains the patella within it. The patella allows the quadriceps muscle/tendon unit to work more efficiently. This tendon is renamed the patellar tendon in the area below the kneecap to its attachment to the tibia.
The stability of the knee joint is maintained by four (4) ligaments, thick bands of tissue that stabilize the joint. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) and lateral collateral ligament (LCL) are on the sides of the knee and prevent the joint from sliding sideways.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) form an "X" on the inside of the knee and prevent the knee from sliding back and forth. These limitations on knee movement allow the knee to concentrate the forces of the muscles on flexion and extension.
Inside the knee, there are two shock-absorbing pieces of cartilage called menisci (singular meniscus) that sit on the top surface of the tibia. The menisci allow the femoral condyle to move on the tibial surface without friction, preventing the bones from rubbing on each other. Without the menisci, the friction of bone on bone would cause inflammation or arthritis.
Bursas surround the knee joint and are fluid-filled sacs that cushion the knee during its range of motion. In the front of the knee, there is a bursa between the skin and the kneecap called the prepatellar bursa and another above the kneecap called the suprapatellar bursa (supra=above).
Each part of the anatomy needs to function properly for the knee to work. Acute injury or trauma as well as chronic overuse cause inflammation and its accompanying symptoms of pain, swelling, redness and warmth.Our Objective in Handling Knee Injury Accident Cases
If you or anyone you care about suffered a knee injury in an accident in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley or any where in California, we will help you obtain the medical care you need and obtain the financial recovery that you deserve. We understand that knee injuries can be very painful and traumatizing. Calling the right California personal injury attorney can help you obtain the justice you deserve.
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