Knee Anatomy Animation

Omaha Knee Anatomy Animation by Dr. Darren R Keiser MD

Omaha Knee Anatomy Information

Omaha Knee Anatomy Information by Dr. Darren R. Keiser MD

anatomy of the kneeWhen learning about the knee, it is advantageous to understand knee anatomy first.

The knee anatomy is comprised of bones, ligaments, tendons, menisci, and cartilage.  The bones that make the knee include:  the thigh bone (femur), the lower leg bone (tibia), and the knee cap (patella).  

The ligaments of the knee that help with knee stability include the ACL, the PCL, the MCL, and the LCL.  The tendons of the knee that help with movement include the patellar tendon, the quadriceps tendon, and the hamstring tendon.  

The cartilage of the knee is the white glossy coating on the ends of the bones that provides a smooth gliding surface for joint movement. The menisci are the two c-shaped cushions in between the femur and the tibia.

Any one of these anatomical structures can be damaged through traumatic injury, repetitive overuse, or through the wear and tear of life.

Many knee conditions can be treated properly and successfully without surgery.  These treatments may include Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation (PRICE), bracing, physical therapy, injections, and medications.
Sometimes surgery is necessary to eliminate pain, restore strength, stability, and movement, and to prevent further breakdown of the knee.

The knee anatomy is complicated, being the largest joint in the body, and one of the most easily injured. It is made up of four main things: bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons.

  • Bones. Three bones meet to form your knee joint: your thighbone (femur), shinbone (tibia), and kneecap (patella).
  • Articular cartilage. The ends of the femur and tibia, and the back of the patella are covered with articular cartilage. This slippery substance helps your knee bones glide smoothly across each other as you bend or straighten your leg.
  • Meniscus. Two wedge-shaped pieces of meniscal cartilage act as “shock absorbers” between your femur and tibia. Different from articular cartilage, the meniscus is tough and rubbery to help cushion and stabilize the joint. When people talk about torn cartilage in the knee, they are usually referring to torn meniscus.
  • Ligaments. Bones are connected to other bones by ligaments. The four main ligaments in your knee act like strong ropes to hold the bones together and keep your knee stable.
  • Collateral Ligaments. These are found on the sides of your knee. The medial collateral ligament is on the inside of your knee, and the lateral collateral ligament is on the outside. They control the sideways motion of your knee and brace it against unusual movement.
  • Cruciate ligaments. These are found inside your knee joint. They cross each other to form an “X” with the anterior cruciate ligament in front and the posterior cruciate ligament in back. The cruciate ligaments control the back and forth motion of your knee.
  • Tendons. Muscles are connected to bones by tendons. The quadriceps tendon connects the muscles in the front of your thigh to your patella. Stretching from your patella to your shinbone is the patellar tendon.

Head over to to learn about Shoulder Anatomy.

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Darren R. Keiser MD
222 N 192nd St.
Elkhorn, NE 68022
(402) 390-4111

Areas for Knee Doctor:

Dr. Keiser has patients from many different areas in and around Nebraska.

Omaha, Beatrice, Bellevue, Columbus, Fremont, Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, La Vista, Lexington, Lincoln, Norfolk, North Platte, Papillion, Scottsbluff, South Sioux City.

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Omaha Knee Information by Dr. Darren Keiser MD