Knee Anatomy by JOI

By Ehren Allen, DPT, COMT

Knee Anatomy Overview

The knee joint is a hinge joint between the tibia, fibula and femur bones. The patella, or knee cap, articulates with the trochlear groove on the end of the femur. At birth, a baby’s “knee cap” will not appear the same as an adult knee cap. The patella is a sesamoid bone that hardens from cartilage to bone at about 3 to 5 years of age. The medial patellofemoral ligament is basically a continuation of the retinaculum of the vastus medialis oblique muscle of the quad. There are four muscle of the quadriceps muscle:

  • Vastus Medialis
  • Rectus Femoris
  • Vastus Lateralis
  • Vastus Intermedius

Please watch this video about the Knee Anatomy

Anatomy of the Knee Joint

Anatomy of the Knee Joint








Four basic ligaments give the knee most of its structural stability. Those ligaments are the:

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament
  • Medial Collateral Ligament
  • Lateral Collateral Ligament

The cruciate ligaments are located in the center of the knee joint and provide front to back stability. The collateral ligaments are located one on the inside of the knee and one on the outside of the knee. These ligaments provide side to side stability. Located on top of the tibia are two pieces of cartilage known as the medial and lateral meniscus. The menisci provide for shock absorption, stability, and protecting the ends of the bones from rubbing together.

Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute

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  • To schedule a new patient or follow up patient appointment with your MD, please call (904)JOI-2000 
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