Wiki article on this topic: In humans and other primates, the knee joins the thigh with the leg and consists of two joints: one between the femur and tibia , and one between the femur and patella. It is the largest joint in the human body. The knee is a modified hinge joint, which permits flexion and extension as well as slight internal and external rotation. The knee is vulnerable to injury and to the development of osteoarthritis.
It is often termed a compound joint having tibiofemoral and patellofemoral components.
The knee is a modified hinge joint, a type of synovial joint, which is composed of three functional compartments: the patellofemoral articulation, consisting of the patella, or "kneecap", and the patellar groove on the front of the femur through which it slides; and the medial and lateral tibiofemoral articulations linking the femur, or thigh bone, with the tibia, the main bone of the lower leg. The joint is bathed in synovial fluid which is contained inside the synovial membrane called the joint capsule. The posterolateral corner of the knee is an area that has recently been the subject of renewed scrutiny and research.
The knee is the largest joint and one of the most important joints in the body. It plays an essential role in movement related to carrying the body weight in horizontal and vertical directions.
At birth, the kneecap is just formed from cartilage, and this will ossify between the ages of three and five years. Because it is the largest sesamoid bone in the human body, the ossification process takes significantly longer.
The main articular bodies of the femur are its lateral and medial condyles. These diverge slightly distally and posteriorly, with the lateral condyle being wider in front than at the back while the medial condyle is of more constant width. The radius of the condyles' curvature in the sagittal plane becomes smaller toward the back. This diminishing radius produces a series of involute midpoints. The resulting series of transverse axes permit the sliding and rolling motion in the flexing knee while ensuring the collateral ligaments are sufficiently lax to permit the rotation associated with the curvature of the medial condyle about a vertical axis.
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