If you’ve ever injured your knee, you’ve found in your own flesh what the importance of having healthy knees for many activities and sports practice, and you injure the knee can mean having to be away from the playing field for some time . Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent knee injuries.
What’s in the knee?
To understand the meaning of knee injuries, first you have to understand how the knee. The knee is a joint, which means it is the contact point between two adjacent bones. In fact, it is the largest joint in the human body. The knees provide stability and flexibility, while allowing flex, rotate and straighten the legs. The knee consists of several parts such as bones, cartilage, muscles, ligaments and tendons, all operate as if they were one. So when we speak of a knee injury, may be damaged or overloaded any of these parts. (Did you know that girls who play sports are two to four times more likely to injure the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee than male athletes?)
Bone and cartilage
The knee is in the middle of three bones: the tibia (shin bone), femur (thigh bone) and patella (the bone that is right in the center of the joint). The patella is a flat, triangular bone that protects the knee joint.
The ends of the femur and patella are covered with articular cartilage. Articular cartilage acts as a cushion and prevents friction between the femur, patella and tibia. At the top of the tibia, cartilage called menisci help absorb the weight of the body. Each knee has two menisci, the inner (medial) and outer (lateral).
The muscles of the knee include the quadriceps, a large muscle located in the anterior thigh, and hamstring, located in the back of the thigh. The quadriceps helps straighten and extend your leg, while the hamstrings flex the knee helps.
Tendons and ligaments
Several tendons and ligaments work together to help the knee to move.
Tendons are like cables of tough tissue that connect muscles and bones. The tendons of the knee are the quadriceps tendon and patellar tendon. The quadriceps tendon is connected to the top of the kneecap and will extend your leg. The patellar tendon connects the bottom of the kneecap to the top of the tibia (shin bone).
Ligaments are like cables of tough tissue that connects bones to bones or cartilage to bones. In the knee there are four ligaments that help connect the femur to the tibia and keep your legs stable:
Medial collateral ligament. It connects the femur to the tibia on the inside of the knee. Stable part of the knee and helps control lateral movement of this joint, for example, preventing it from bending inward.
Lateral collateral ligament. It connects the femur to the tibia on the outside of the knee. Stable the outside of the knee and helps control lateral movement of this joint, for example, preventing it from bending outward.
Anterior cruciate ligament. Connect the femur to the tibia through the center of the knee. It helps control forward motion and rotation, for example, preventing the bone of the tibia from moving forward towards front of the femur scrolling.
Posterior cruciate ligament. Connect the femur to the tibia at the back of the knee. Helps control the backward movement, for example, preventing the tibia from moving back behind the femur pro scrolling.