Cartilage Of The Knee Joint
There are two main types of cartilage in knee anatomy: articular cartilage and the meniscus.
- Articular cartilage covers the bones’ ends and allows for the bones to slide and glide on each other without friction. This is the stuff you need to keep from getting the creaking and cracking of the joints. When this starts to wear down, arthritis will set in. Sometimes this cartilage is damaged with an ACL tear. The amount of trauma from the ACL injury can lesions to the cartilage of the joint or bones of the knee. This can be addressed during the surgical procedure.
Image of articular cartilage and meniscus
- Meniscus: 2 thick pieces of cartilage that sit on the tibia between the femur and tibia. These are C-shaped that allow for improved congruence of the joint. Tears in these structures can cause pain, swelling, and sometimes catching and locking the knee joint. During surgery, the meniscus can be repaired or debrided. This is usually determined by the age of the patient, where the tear occurred and the amount of damage to the meniscus. To learn more, Read this Article about Meniscus Injuries.
Exercises To Build Muscles Around The Knee
Building muscles around the knee can help you avoid injury while also strengthening your legs. The knee is made up of bone, cartilage, fat and ligaments, but the surrounding muscles support it. Exercises that target these muscles can strengthen them, so you can enjoy favorite activities without harming your knee.
How Can I Prevent A Meniscus Tear
Meniscus tears are tough to prevent since theyre usually the result of an accident. But some precautions might lower the risks of a knee injury. You should:
- Keep your thigh muscles strong with regular exercises.
- Warm up with light activities before taking part
- Give your body time to rest between workouts. Fatigued muscles can increase your risk of injury.
- Make sure your shoes have enough support and fit correctly.
- Maintain flexibility.
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What Conditions Can Affect The Thigh Muscles
The most common problems in the thigh muscles are muscle strains, pulls and tears. This type of injury occurs when a muscle is stretched beyond its limits and the muscle fibers pull apart.
Strains are common in the hamstrings and quads. They often occur during sports or other exercise where a person has to change direction quickly, or they collide with something or someone. Examples include soccer and football.
Symptoms of a thigh muscle strain include:
- Bruising that develops quickly or over the next couple of days following an injury.
- Pain, which usually is sudden and severe, and may get worse when you bend or extend the hip or knee.
- Popping or snapping sound or feeling in the thigh.
How Do Muscle And Tendon Injuries Happen
One common way of injuring knee muscles and tendons is through overstretching, where the fibres become strained or torn. Another common cause is a powerful impact such as a blow to the front of the knee, a heavy fall, or even a deep cut during an accident. The fibres can become overstretched, or they may tear either partially, or completely . Tendinitis is a condition where the tendon becomes inflamed, usually due to overuse . As well as pain and swelling, it can cause the tendon to become weaker, which in turn makes it more vulnerable to injury. Tendinosis is a condition where the tendon degenerates or becomes scarred due to a repetitive injury. Osgood Schlatters is a condition where tightened thigh muscles pull on the bone below the knee , causing it to become inflamed and painful. It is most commonly seen in adolescents, particularly after a growth spurt.
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How Can I Keep My Thigh Muscles Safe And Healthy
You can take steps to keep your thigh muscles safer and healthier, especially during exercise:
- Avoid sports that involve changing direction quickly or tackling.
- Dont play through the pain. If something hurts, stop and rest.
- Eat a healthy diet high in protein.
- Exercise often. The stronger your muscles are, the less likely they are to become injured.
- Maintain a healthy weight to reduce pressure on the muscles.
- Stay hydrated by drinking lots or water.
- Warm up before you exercise, increase intensity gradually, then stretch afterward.
- Wear shoes that fit well and all appropriate safety equipment for any sports you play.
Nagging Knee Pain Is No Fun
The problem is that knee pain is far too common: Research suggests about one in four adults will suffer frequent knee pain. Pay attention to the type of ache you experience since some causes for pain in the back of the knee warrant a trip to the emergency room. Miho Tanaka, MD, the director of the Womens Sports Medicine Program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, says the things that warrant immediate medical attention are blood clotsthey can cause numbness and weakness in the legand fevers and redness associated with swelling. Although swelling in the knee has many causes, in rare cases, it could be a sign of an infection, so its a good idea to seek immediate care for that as well, says Steven Lyons, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Florida Orthopaedic Institute in Tampa, Florida. He adds that knee pain experienced after a major trauma like a fall or a car accident means you need an ER visit. If the knee pain lingers longer than a week or two without any prior injury, Dr. Lyons recommends visiting a doctor instead.
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Location Of Inner Knee Pain
The exact location of inner knee pain can differ depending on the underlying problem.
- Lower inner knee pain occurs just below the inside of the knee joint. Pain around this area suggests a problem with the tendons, ligaments, or other connective tissue that attach to the lower part of the leg.
- If inner knee pain occurs near the center of the joint this is often due to a meniscus, ligament, or patellar injury.
- Pain above the knee is usually due to tendon or muscle issues in the upper thigh region.
How Can I Prevent Knee Ligament Injuries
Not all knee injuries can be prevented. But you can take steps to keep your knee ligaments safer, especially during exercise:
- Avoid sports that involve tackling, such as football and rugby.
- Exercise on level surfaces to decrease the chances youll twist a knee.
- Maintain a healthy weight to reduce pressure on the knees.
- Vary your exercise routine, combining weight training and aerobic activities .
- Warm up before you exercise, increase intensity gradually and stretch afterward.
- Wear shoes that fit well.
- Wear all appropriate safety equipment for any sports you play.
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Knee Ligament Injury Care At Uw Medicine
Choosing UW Medicine for your orthopedic and sports medicine care means getting access to some of the most experienced physicians and surgeons in the country, many of whom have spent years caring for elite and high-level athletes who have ligament and meniscus injuries. The UW Medicine team helps care for athletes from the Seattle Seahawks, Washington Huskies and many youth sports leagues.
Treatment plans for most knee injuries rely on making an accurate diagnosis with a focus on managing pain and rehabilitation to regain function. Surgery may also be necessary to lead to full, functional recovery. Our goal is to restore and optimize the function of your knee so you can get back to the activities you enjoy.
Knee and other sports injuries can be evaluated at any of our sports medicine clinics or orthopedic surgery locations across the Puget Sound region. Physicians and surgeons at the Sports Medicine Center at Husky Stadium are specifically trained in treating elite and high-level athletes of all ages. Most UW Medicine physicians train the next generation of doctors, so you can expect to receive care from doctors who have a wealth of experience and also drive future research and education within sports medicine.
When To Seek Medical Help
If your injury is mild, you may be able to manage your symptoms yourself, without seeking medical advice. But you should see a doctor or physiotherapist, if:
- you cant put weight on the affected leg
- you have severe pain, even when youre not putting weight on it
- your knee gives way, clicks, or locks
- you cant move your knee
- your knee is hot, red or very swollen or you have a fever
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Where Are The Lower Leg Muscles Located
Your lower leg muscle anatomy includes:
Anterior muscles: You have four muscles in the anterior part of the lower leg. They extend from your knee down to your foot. They are:
- Extensor digitorum longus.
- Fibularis tertius.
- Tibialis anterior.
Lateral muscles: The fibularis longus and fibularis brevis run along the outside of your lower leg. They start just below your knee and go down to your ankle.
Posterior: The muscles in the posterior of your lower leg are:
- Calf muscles, which include the gastrocnemius and the soleus.
- Flexor digitorum longus.
- Popliteus, which sits deeper in your leg just behind your knee joints.
- Tibialis posterior.
Conditions Associated With Inner Knee Pain
There are several types of knee injury and other conditions that can cause inner knee pain.
Medial collateral ligament injury is a tear of the ligament that runs down the inner side of your knee. A ligament is a band of tissue that connects one bone to another. Your medial collateral ligament connects your thigh bone to your shin bone, helping to stabilise your knee. A tear can happen if you have a direct blow to your knee, if you twist your knee or if you overuse your knee.
Anterior cruciate ligament injury is a tear to one of the ligaments that runs across the inside your knee, connecting your thigh and shin bones. You might completely or partially tear your anterior cruciate ligament. Its a sudden injury caused by twisting or overextending your knee. It can happen if you suddenly slow down, stop or change direction and is nearly always associated with sports.
Meniscal injury is a tear to one of the cartilage shock-absorbers in your knee. These are known as the menisci . You could tear a meniscus if you twist your knee. This type of injury is common in sports where you have to change direction suddenly for example, football or basketball. It can also happen if you work in a job that involves heavy lifting and twisting, such as construction or manual labour. Youre also more likely to tear your meniscus without any particular injury as you get older, through wear and tear.
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Muscles And Tendons Of The Knee
Many muscles affect the knee, but the main muscles that allow for the knee to perform its main functions are:
- Quadriceps: A group of 4 muscles that sits on the front of the thigh. These muscles are responsible for allowing the knee to straighten. This movement is necessary for standing from a seated position, bringing your leg forward when walking, and kicking a ball! The two patellar tendons attach the quad to the patella. These tendons can also rupture during sports.
Quadriceps Muscle diagram
More About Your Injury
The collateral ligaments help keep your knee stable. They help keep your leg bones in place and keep your knee from moving too far sideways.
A collateral ligament injury can occur if you get hit very hard on the inside or outside of your knee, or when you have a twisting injury.
Skiers and people who play basketball, football, or soccer are more likely to have this type of injury.
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Knee Doctors In Jacksonville
Many types of knee injuries can occur. Muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage can be strained and sprained. It is really important to have your knee pain properly diagnosed by an orthopedic physician. JOI Rehab also has 12 Physical Therapy locations, which can certainly help you on the road to recovery. With over 90 Rehab Clinicians trained in providing you with the highest quality of orthopedic care. For an appointment, please call 904-858-7045.
To schedule an appointment for physical therapy at one of the 12 JOI Rehab Centers, please call
JOI MD’s now offer quick fracture care. Make an appointment by calling , schedule online, or click the link below…
Pain Behind The Knee: Self
Pain in the hollow of the knee and behind the knee, respectively, is mostly caused by tensed muscles and trigger points in areas of the calf, knee and the back of the thigh.
Fortunately, serious injuries are rarely the cause, especially if there is no known trauma or injury.
Even when there is structural wear and tear, such as damaged cartilage etc., knee pain can often be alleviated by getting rid of excessive muscle tension and sometimes even eliminated.
In the next chapter, I will lead you step by step through a self-massage of the muscles often responsible for knee pain. Follow these instructions and chances are good that your knee will feel better.
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Build Upper Leg Muscles
The muscles of your quadriceps are on the fronts of your thighs, leading down to your knees, while the hamstring muscles are on the backs of your thighs. Both muscle groups help support the knee area. Two to three strength training workouts per week, lasting approximately 20 minutes each, are sufficient for building muscles around the knees. With or without the added resistance of hand-held weights, perform walking lunges, squats and side steps to build muscle that supports your knees.
Do side steps by assuming a squat position with your feet about 24 inches apart. Take one large step to the right with your right foot, remaining in a squat position the entire time. Step over with your left foot. Repeat for 24 steps to the right, and then 24 steps to the left.
Back Of The Knee Pain Caused By Bakers Cyst
A Bakers cyst will cause a lump at the back of your knee along with pain and discomfort.
The cyst that forms at the back of your knee is usually caused by arthritis or tearing a cartilage. This results in a buildup of fluid that causes a lump behind your knee.
Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that the swelling behind your knee can be a cause of knee pain. You will probably find it difficult to flex the knee and your symptoms may be worse after physical activity. To treat a Bakers cyst, doctors usually drain the fluid to reduce the swelling and ease knee discomfort.8
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Tips To Prevent Meniscus Tears
You can prevent meniscus tears by regularly performing exercises that strengthen your leg muscles. This will help stabilize your knee joint to protect it from injury.
You can also use protective gear during sports or a brace to support your knee during activities that may increase your risk of injury.
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How Are These Injuries Diagnosed
Diagnosing a knee muscle or tendon injury starts with a physical examination and a discussion with your doctor about how the injury first came about. X-rays can help to identify damage to the bone. MRI or ultrasound scans can give a better picture of damage to the tissue, or may be used to rule out other injuries with similar symptoms.
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What Else Can You Do
You can also strengthen the muscles of your legs with daily activities, like climbing stairs or walking more.
If you prefer more variety, some low-risk sports and activities could also help strengthen your knees:
- Using an elliptical machine.
Also, including a hamstring stretch or any other stretch for that matter can help you manage the muscle soreness post-exercise.
How Do The Anatomy Of Knee And Lower Leg Affect Movement
The knee is a hinge joint that sits between the thigh and the shin. It functions the same as a hinge on a door and sometimes gets a creaky as a hinge can. This joint allows the legs to bend and straighten, necessary for walking, going up and downstairs, going from sitting to standing, running, and jumping. The knee’s anatomy consists of many structures from the bones, tendons, and ligaments to the cartilage and muscles to help the knee function.
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Lateral Meniscus And Medial Meniscus
The menisci are crescent shaped wedges located in the knee joint at the bottom of your thigh bone and on top of the flat upper surface of your shin bone. They are made of a dense, collagen connective tissue that is tougher than articular cartilage, called fibro-cartilage. Menisci cover approximately 2/3 of your tibia surface and are thinner on the inside and thicken toward the outer peripheral. They fill the space between these bones and cushion your femur so it doesn’t rub against your tibia or slide off.
When you walk, your weight shifts from one meniscus to the other which can increase the forces on your knee by up to 2 – 4 times your body weight when you run the forces increase up to 6 – 8 times your body weight, and are even higher when landing from a jump.
The menisci help distribute the weight of your body across your knee joint, lubricate and protect the articular cartilage from damages from wear and tear, stabilize your knee when you slide and turn, and limit extreme knee flexion and extension. Due to the weight bearing and stabilizing function of the menisci they are very strong, but they are also quite prone to a meniscus tear.
There are 2 menisci – the lateral meniscus and the medial meniscus .