Accessibility Tools

Knee

  • Knee ArthritisKnee Arthritis

    The joint surface is covered by a smooth articular surface that allows pain-free movement in the joint. Arthritis is a general term covering numerous conditions where the joint surface or cartilage wears out.

  • Knee FractureKnee Fracture

    A fracture is a condition in which there is a break in the continuity of the bone. In younger individuals, these fractures are caused by high energy injuries, as from a motor vehicle accident. In older people, the most common cause is a weak and fragile bone.

  • Patellar Dislocation/Patellofemoral DislocationPatellar Dislocation/Patellofemoral Dislocation

    Patellar dislocation occurs when the patella moves out of the patellofemoral groove, (trochlea) onto the bony head of the femur. If the kneecap partially comes out of the groove, it is called subluxation; if the kneecap completely comes out, it is called dislocation (luxation).

  • ACL TearsACL Tears

    The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the major ligaments of the knee. It is located in the middle of the knee and runs from the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shinbone). The ACL prevents the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur. Together with the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), it provides rotational stability to the knee.

  • MCL TearsMCL Tears

    The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is the ligament located on the inner part of the knee joint. It runs from the femur (thighbone) to the top of the tibia (shinbone) and helps in stabilizing the knee.

  • Kneecap BursitisKneecap Bursitis

    Bursitis refers to the inflammation and swelling of the bursa. Inflammation of the bursa in front of the kneecap (patella) is known as kneecap bursitis or prepatellar bursitis.

  • Patellar InstabilityPatellar Instability

    Any damage to the supporting ligaments may cause the patella to slip out of the groove either partially (subluxation) or completely (dislocation). This misalignment can damage the underlying soft structures such as muscles and ligaments that hold the kneecap in place.

  • Meniscal TearsMeniscal Tears

    A meniscal tear is a common knee injury in athletes, especially those involved in contact sports. A sudden bend or twist in your knee causes the meniscus to tear. Elderly people are more prone to degenerative meniscal tears as the cartilage wears out and weakens with age.

  • PCL InjuriesPCL Injuries

    Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), one of the four major ligaments of the knee, is situated at the back of the knee. It connects the thighbone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia). The PCL limits the backward motion of the shinbone..

  • Ligament InjuriesLigament Injuries

    Knee problems may arise if any of these structures get injured by overuse or suddenly during sports activities. Pain, swelling, and stiffness are the common symptoms of any damage or injury to the knee.

  • Knee PainKnee Pain

    Knee pain is a common condition affecting individuals of various age groups. It not only affects movement but also impacts your quality of life. An injury or disease of the knee joint or any structure surrounding the knee can result in knee pain. A precise diagnosis of the underlying cause is important to develop an appropriate treatment plan.

  • Quadriceps Tendon RuptureQuadriceps Tendon Rupture

    The quadriceps can rupture after a fall, direct blow to the leg and when you land on your leg awkwardly from a jump. Quadriceps tendon rupture most commonly occurs in middle-aged people who participate in sports that involve jumping and running.

  • Patellar Tendon RupturePatellar Tendon Rupture

    The patellar tendon works together with the quadriceps muscle and the quadriceps tendon to allow your knee to straighten out. Patella tendon rupture is the rupture of the tendon that connects the patella (kneecap) to the top portion of the tibia (shinbone).

  • Knee Sports InjuriesKnee Sports Injuries

    Trauma is any injury caused during physical activity, motor vehicle accidents, electric shock, or other activities. Sports trauma or sports injuries refer to injuries caused while playing indoor or outdoor sports and exercising.

  • Multiligament Knee InjuriesMultiligament Knee Injuries

    Injury to more than one knee ligament is called a multiligament knee injury and may occur during sports or other physical activities.

  • Runner's KneeRunner's Knee

    Patellofemoral pain syndrome also called runner’s knee refers to pain under and around your kneecap. Patellofemoral pain is associated with a number of medical conditions such as anterior knee pain syndrome, patellofemoral malalignment, and chondromalacia patella.

  • Knee SprainKnee Sprain

    Knee sprain is a common injury that occurs from overstretching of the ligaments that support the knee joint. A knee sprain occurs when the knee ligaments are twisted or turned beyond its normal range, causing the ligaments to tear.

Knee Anatomy

Knee Anatomy

The knee is a complex joint made up of different structures - bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. They all work together to maintain the knee’s normal function and provide stability to the knee during movement.

Having a well-functioning healthy knee is essential for our mobility and ability to participate in various activities. Understanding the anatomy of the knee enhances your ability to discuss and choose the right treatment procedure for knee problems with your doctor.

Bones of the Knee

The knee is a hinge joint made up of two bones, the thighbone (femur) and shinbone (tibia). There are two round knobs at the end of the femur called femoral condyles that articulate with the flat surface of the tibia called the tibial plateau. The tibial plateau on the inside of the leg is called the medial tibial plateau and on the outside of the leg, the lateral tibial plateau.

The two femoral condyles form a groove on the front (anterior) side of the knee called the patellofemoral groove. A small bone called the patella sits in this groove and forms the kneecap. It acts as a shield and protects the knee joint from direct trauma.

A fourth bone called the fibula is the other bone of the lower leg. This forms a small joint with the tibia. This joint has very little movement and is not considered a part of the main joint of the knee.

Articular Cartilage and Menisci of the Knee

Movement of the bones causes friction between the articulating surfaces. To reduce this friction, all articulating surfaces involved in the movement are covered with a white, shiny, slippery layer called articular cartilage. The articulating surface of the femoral condyles, tibial plateaus and the back of the patella are covered with this cartilage. The cartilage provides a smooth surface that facilitates easy movement.

To further reduce friction between the articulating surfaces of the bones, the knee joint is lined by a synovial membrane that produces a thick clear fluid called synovial fluid. This fluid lubricates and nourishes the cartilage and bones inside the joint capsule.

Within the knee joint, between the femur and tibia, are two C-shaped cartilaginous structures called menisci. Menisci function to provide stability to the knee by spreading the weight of the upper body across the whole surface of the tibial plateau. The menisci help in load-bearing i.e. it prevents the weight from concentrating onto a small area, which could damage the articular cartilage. The menisci also act as a cushion between the femur and tibia by absorbing the shock produced by activities such as walking, running and jumping.

Ligaments of the Knee

Ligaments are tough bands of tissue that connect one bone to another bone. The ligaments of the knee stabilize the knee joint. There are two important groups of ligaments that hold the bones of the knee joint together, collateral and cruciate ligaments.

Collateral ligaments are present on either side of the knee. They prevent the knee from moving too far during side to side motion. The collateral ligament on the inside is called the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and the collateral ligament on the outside is called the lateral collateral ligament (LCL).

Cruciate ligaments, present inside the knee joint, control the back-and-forth motion of the knee. The cruciate ligament in the front of the knee is called anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the cruciate ligament in the back of the knee is called posterior cruciate ligament (PCL).

Muscles of the Knee

There are two major muscles in the knee - the quadriceps and the hamstrings, which enable movement of the knee joint. The quadriceps muscles are located in front of the thigh. When the quadriceps muscles contract, the knee straightens. The hamstrings are located at the back of the thigh. When the hamstring muscles contract, the knee bends.

Tendons of the Knee

A tendon is a tissue that attaches a muscle to a bone. The quadriceps muscles of the knee meet just above the patella and attach to it through a tendon called the quadriceps tendon. The patella further attaches to the tibia through a tendon called the patella tendon. The quadriceps muscle, quadriceps tendon, and patellar tendon all work together to straighten the knee. Similarly, the hamstring muscles at the back of the leg are attached to the knee joint with the hamstring tendon.

  • Knee ArthroscopyKnee Arthroscopy

    Knee arthroscopy is a common surgical procedure performed using an arthroscope, a viewing instrument, to diagnose or treat a knee problem. It is a relatively safe procedure and you will usually be discharged from the hospital on the same day of surgery.

  • Total Knee ReplacementTotal Knee Replacement

    Total knee replacement, also called total knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure in which the worn out or damaged surfaces of the knee joint are removed and replaced with an artificial prosthesis.

  • Unicompartmental/Partial Knee ReplacementUnicompartmental/Partial Knee Replacement

    Unicompartmental knee replacement is a minimally invasive surgery in which only the damaged compartment of the knee is replaced with an implant. It is also called a partial knee replacement.

  • ACL ReconstructionACL Reconstruction

    ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) reconstruction is a commonly performed surgical procedure. With recent advances in arthroscopic surgery, it can now be performed with minimal incision and low complication rates.

  • Knee Fracture SurgeryKnee Fracture Surgery

    A knee fracture is a broken bone or a crack in or around the joint of the knee. This can involve the tibia (shin bone), the kneecap (patella), or femur (thighbone) where they connect with the knee.

  • Knee Ligament ReconstructionKnee Ligament Reconstruction

    Knee ligament reconstruction is a surgical procedure to repair or replace damaged ligaments of the knee joint. The surgery can be performed using minimally invasive techniques.

  • Patient Specific Knee ReplacementPatient Specific Knee Replacement

    Patient Specific Knee Replacement is a newer technology in total knee replacement surgery. It is an advanced procedure using an individualized patient-specific knee implant for replacement of all three components of the knee.

  • Knee ImplantsKnee Implants

    Knee implants are artificial devices that form the essential parts of the knee during a knee replacement surgery. The knee implants vary by size, shape, and material. Implants are made of biocompatible materials that are accepted by the body without producing any rejection response.

  • Quadriceps Tendon RepairQuadriceps Tendon Repair

    Quadriceps tendon is a thick tissue located at the top of the kneecap. The quadriceps tendon works together with the quadriceps muscles to allow us to straighten our leg. The quadriceps muscles are the muscles located in front of the thigh.

  • Knee Cartilage RestorationKnee Cartilage Restoration

    Knee cartilage restoration is a surgical technique to repair damaged articular cartilage in the knee joint by stimulating new growth of cartilage or by transplanting cartilage into areas with defects in order to relieve pain and restore normal function to the knee.

  • Multiligament Reconstruction of the KneeMultiligament Reconstruction of the Knee

    Multiligament knee reconstruction is a surgical procedure to repair or replace two or more damaged ligaments of the knee joint. The surgery can be performed using minimally invasive techniques..

  • Patellar Tendon RepairPatellar Tendon Repair

    Patellar tendon repair is the surgery performed to reattach the torn tendon to the kneecap and to restore normal function in the affected leg.

  • PCL ReconstructionPCL Reconstruction

    PCL reconstruction surgery is a procedure to correct torn posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) in the knee using a tissue graft taken from another part of the body, or from a donor.

  • LCL ReconstructionLCL Reconstruction

    LCL reconstruction is a surgical procedure to repair torn or damaged lateral collateral ligament in the knee using a tissue graft taken from another part of the body, or from a donor.

  • MCL ReconstructionMCL Reconstruction

    MCL reconstruction is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which a tendon graft is utilized to reconstruct the injured MCL.

  • Meniscal SurgeryMeniscal Surgery

    Meniscal Surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which a tendon graft is utilized to reconstruct the injured MCL.

Knee Patient Education Videos

If you wish to be advised on the most appropriate treatment, please call to schedule an appointment or click to request an appointment online.

  • Englewood Office
    499 E Hampden Avenue
    Suite 140
    Englewood, CO 80113
  • Centennial Office
    14100 E Arapahoe Road
    Suite 210
    Centennial, CO 80112
  • Lone Tree Office
    Aspen Building – Sky Ridge Hospital Campus
    10103 RidgeGate Parkway
    Suite 213
    Lone Tree, CO 80124