Wednesday, March 10, 2004

How does the knee work?

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Risk factors for women
Warm-up exercises protect the knee
The knee is a hinge joint formed where the femur (the thigh bone) and the tibia (the shinbone) meet. The joint is protected in the front by the patella (kneecap.)

When you walk, the hamstring muscle at the back of the thigh contracts and shortens, pulling the lower leg in and bending the knee. At the same time, the quadriceps muscles on the front of the thigh relax, allowing the knee to bend.

Within the knee joint, cartilage and synovial fluid minimize friction between the femur and tibia, and two pads of cartilage - the medial meniscus and lateral meniscus - act as cushions between the bones. The cruciate ligaments - anterior and posterior - stabilize the knee joint and control its motion. The anterior cruciate ligament or ACL crosses from the underside of the thigh bone to the top of the shin bone and limits forward motion of the shin bone.

The collateral ligaments on the side of the knee stabilize the joint and control sideways motion of the knee.

Source: Enquirer research

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