The knee joint (also called the tibiofemoral joint) is the largest joint of the body. It allows extension, flexion and some limited rotation and is reinforced by many ligaments. Knee joint ligaments include:
1) The medial collateral ligament prevents lateral or medial angular movement of the knee joint. Its origin is the medial epicondyle of the femur. Its insertion is the medial tibial condyle and shaft.
2) The lateral collateral ligament, which prevents lateral or medial angular movement of the knee joint. Its origin is the lateral epicondyle of the femur. Its insertion is the head of the fibula.
3) The anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments cross each other and secure knee joint articulations. The anterior cruciate prevents over-extension of the knee joint. The posterior cruciate prevents over-flexion of the knee joint.
4) The patellar ligament extends from the patella to the tibial tuberosity (and is a continuation of the quadriceps muscle).
5) The medical meniscus and lateral meniscus are cartilage cups on the proximal end of the tibia in which the distal end of the femur sits. It helps stabilize the femur in articulation.
Despite all these ligaments, the knee joint is weight bearing and is the joint most susceptible to injury. The injury called “clipping” results from a blow to the side of the knee and involves injuries to the medial collateral ligament, medial meniscus and anterior cruciate ligament.
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