Earlier, the knee-joint was believed to be a ginglymus or hinge-joint, but today research shows it function to be of a complex nature. It is a condyloid multiplicity of a synovial joint, consisting of two detached joints, namely the Femoro-patellar and the Femoro-tibial joints.
While the Femoro-patellar constitutes the kneecap, the Femoro-tibia serves as a link between the femur or the thigh bone, and the tibia, the foremost bone of the lower leg.
It is important to understand the structure of the knee. The human knee comprises of three articulations in one. The two condyloid joints, as already mentioned above, and a third arthrodial joint, which is flanked by the patella and the femur. This partially means the articular surfaces are not reciprocally modified to each other, so the movement is not an easy gliding one.
Apart from these crucial aspects of the anatomy of the human knee, studies have shown two cruciate ligaments in the middle of the joints. These are the collateral ligaments of the medial and lateral joints. The cruciate ligaments act as direct merger in connecting the Tibia and Femur, averting the former bone from being moved too far to the rear or to the front. The lateral ligaments defend against the side bending of the joint.
Another very unique feature of human knee is the menisci. Cartilaginous in nature, the knee menisci are elements surrounding the knee joint which serve to protect, and prevent the bones from gliding on top of each other. In addition, they successfully increase the area of the tibial sockets into which the femur is appended.
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