Structure of the Knee Joint (Nursing)

by Darren Salmi, MD, MS

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    00:01 Now let's finish off the lower limb by talking about the knee, leg and foot.

    00:07 Let's start by taking an anterior view of the knee joint.

    00:11 Now the knee requires a lot of stability.

    00:14 So there's a lot of structures here that just help keep everything in place and in functioning order.

    00:21 So we're going to talk about these connective tissue structures.

    00:25 The first thing we're going to see is a little pad like structure at the knee joint called the lateral meniscus.

    00:33 The meniscus is this sort of halfmoon shaped pad essentially that provides structural support and a little bit of shock absorption as well.

    00:42 We have one on the medial side called the medial meniscus.

    00:47 And on the edges of the knee joint, we have the lateral collateral ligament and the medial collateral ligament.

    00:56 We can't really see it so well in this view, but we can see the anterior cruciate ligament, something you've probably heard of referred to as the ACL.

    01:06 There's another one posterior to it, so we see it even less called the posterior cruciate ligament or PCL.

    01:14 From a lateral view, we can see some of these other structures a little bit better.

    01:19 So from a lateral view, we can see the lateral collateral ligament.

    01:24 We also see something we talked about in the hip section called the iliotibial band.

    01:30 So we know this is running all the way up towards the pelvis where we had that tensor fascia latae muscle.

    01:36 We also have a funny little muscle right here on the posterior surface called the popliteus.

    01:42 Popliteal generally refers to this space behind the knee called the popliteal space.

    01:47 And it's also why the femoral artery changed it's name to popliteal artery when it passed through the adductor hiatus.

    01:54 The popliteus is there to learn it's a little complicated, but it's sort of what we say unlocks the knee during flexion and extension.

    02:01 And it provides a little bit of rotation to make sure everything lines up just as it needs to be for flexion and extension.

    02:09 We'll swing around to a posterior view.

    02:12 And we have the again, lateral meniscus, medial meniscus and lateral collateral ligaments.

    02:20 We can also now see, again, the medial collateral ligament and that popliteus muscle.

    02:27 We also see, again, the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL and the posterior cruciate ligament or PCL.

    02:36 We also see this ligament running off of it from the posterior meniscofemoral ligament providing another series of connections.

    02:47 This is a cool one to give you a really good idea of what it looks like from a superior point of view.

    02:52 From the superior point of view, you can see how they kind of get the name meniscus, meniscus kind of means like a halfmoon shape.

    02:59 And here's the medial meniscus and the lateral meniscus.

    03:02 They sort of accentuate the cup like space for the femur to sit at the knee joint.

    03:09 We can also really see why the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments are called this way because they're cruciate like a cross, they're crossing each other like an 'x'.

    03:18 We have the anterior cruciate ligament, and the posterior cruciate ligament.

    03:23 And again, we have that little bit of additional support by the meniscofemoral ligaments.

    03:33 What's happening in the knee joint is very similar to what's happening at the elbow.

    03:38 Just like we said, the hip was very analogous to the shoulder while the knees gonna be very analogous to the elbow.

    03:44 So generally, we're going to have what we call extension, and flexion, just like we had at the elbow.

    03:58 Now, you've probably heard of the ACL, because it's a ligament that can be torn a lot, especially in rapid, forceful twisting motions.

    04:07 And especially if one side of the knee joint is fixed while the other is moving.

    04:13 So if you have, for example, lateral rotation of the leg, and medial rotation at the thigh, that's going to put a lot of stress and strain on these ligaments that are trying to keep the knee from doing this exact type of motion.

    04:28 And so sports like soccer and basketball with a lot of short, abrupt stops and changes of direction will create this stress and strain on the ACL that can result in an ACL tear.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Structure of the Knee Joint (Nursing) by Darren Salmi, MD, MS is from the course Anatomy of the Musculoskeletal System (Nursing).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Meniscus
    2. Popliteus
    3. Anterior cruciate ligament
    4. Medial collateral ligament
    5. Lateral collateral ligament
    1. Popliteus
    2. Meniscus
    3. Anterior cruciate ligament
    4. Medial collateral ligament
    5. Lateral collateral ligament

    Author of lecture Structure of the Knee Joint (Nursing)

     Darren Salmi, MD, MS

    Darren Salmi, MD, MS

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