THE KNEE & ACL SERIES:

PART 1 – KNEE ANATOMY

The knee is one of the most commonly injured joints in the body. Injuries are common both on and off the sporting field. ACL injuries are one that occur most often on the sporting field, they receive a fair bit of media attention when they occur at the elite level, and unfortunately often result in a significant amount of missed game time.

So, we thought we’d give you a bit of a run down on ACL injuries. We’ll start gently…with a brief intro into knee anatomy.

Knee 3

KNEE ANATOMY…

Bones:

  • Femur (thigh bone)
  • Patella (knee cap)
  • Tibia (shin bone)
  • Fibula

Ligaments:

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)
  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)
  • Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL)

Cartilage:

  • Medial Meniscus
  • Lateral Meniscus

Muscles:

  • Quadriceps – Vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, rectus femoris
  • Hamstrings – Biceps femoris, semimembranosus, semitendinosus
  • Adductors – Sartorius, adductor magnus, gracilis
  • Lower leg – Gastrocnemius, plantaris, popliteus, peroneus longus

Bursa:

  • Supra patellar
  • Pre patellar
  • Infra patellar (subcutaneous & deep)
  • Pes anserine
  • Semi-membranosus

Connective Tissue:

  • Joint Capsule
  • Synovial Membrane
  • Infra patellar fat pad
Knee 2

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON KNEE INJURIES?

Most common knee injuries can be classed into either insidious/gradual onset or an acute onset.

At The Injury Clinic we commonly see the following…

Insidious onset:

  • Patellofemoral pain
  • Patella tendinopathy
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • ITB friction syndrome
  • Osgood-Schlatters (in adolescents)

Acute onset:

  • MCL sprain/tear
  • ACL tear
  • Meniscus tear

**Please note, the knee is a complex joint and there are many injuries that can occur. This list only contains injuries commonly seen and is not a complete list!

SUMMARY…

There are many structures that interact to form and control the knee. These all must work together efficiently for the knee to function effectively and without pain or injury. Efficient functioning of our knee joint can help to prevent injuries that are either acute or insidious in their onset.

Stay tuned for our next blog on ACL injuries. If you have any questions about what you have read in this blog on knee anatomy, please contact us on (03) 5229 3911 or info@theinjuryclinic.com.au.

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