The knee joint is a synovial joint which connects the femur (thigh bone), the longest bone in the body, to the tibia (shin bone). There are two main joints in the knee: 1) the tibiofemoral joint where the tibia meet the femur 2) the patellofemoral joint where the kneecap (or patella) meets the femur. These two joints work together to form a modified hinge joint that allows the knee to bend and straighten but also to rotate slightly from side to side.
The knee joint is the largest joint in our body. It is vulnerable to injury as it bears an enormous amount of pressure while providing flexible movement. When we walk, the load on our knees is equal to 1.5 times our body weight. When climbing stairs it is equal to 3-4 times our body weight. When we squat, the load on our knees increases to about 8 times our body weight!
Anatomical terms allow us to describe the body and body motions more precisely. Instead of a doctor simply saying that “the patient’s knee hurts”, he or she can say that “the patient’s knee hurts anterolaterally” to specify where exactly in the knee you are having pain. Identifying specific areas of pain helps to guide the next steps in treatment or work-up. Below are some anatomic terms doctors use to describe location (as applied to the knee):
Anterior — if facing the knee, this is the front of the knee
Posterior — if facing the knee, this is the back of the knee. If used to describe the patella (knee cap), then it would refer to the side of the patella closest to the femur.
Medial — the side of the knee that is closest to the other knee, if you put your knees together, the medial sides of each knee would touch
Lateral— the side of the knee that is farthest from the other knee (opposite of the medial side)
Abduction — move away from the body (raising the leg away from midline i.e. towards the side)
Adduction — move toward the body (lowering the leg toward midline i.e. from the side)
Proximal — located nearest to the point of attachment or reference, or center of the body
example: the knee is proximal to the ankle
Distal — located farthest from the point of attachment or reference, or center of the body
example: the ankle is distal to the knee
Inferior — located beneath, under or below
Superior – located above
远端-距离附着点或参考点或身体中心最远的位置 例如: 踝关节在膝的远端
Structures often have their anatomical reference as part of their name, particularly if there are other similar structures close by. For instance, there are two menisci (or meniscus, singular) in the knee. As such, they are named the medial meniscus and lateral meniscus. Therefore, the medial meniscus would refer to the meniscus on the inside of the knee (i.e. closest to the other knee).