Joint Problems & Anatomy
Dr. Pamela Mehta, MD
Knee Doctor, San Jose
Table of Contents
Expert Care From a Knee Specialist
Dr. Pamela Mehta is a board-certified knee doctor who specializes in the knee joint. She is the founder of Resilience Orthopedics in San Jose, California.
She is also an expert in arthroscopic knee surgery, which is a minimally invasive procedure that can help to repair knee injuries with a shorter recovery time.
If you are experiencing knee pain, Dr. Mehta can help you get back to your active lifestyle. She offers concierge care, which means that you will have her undivided attention throughout your treatment. She will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that meets your individual needs.
What Knee Services Do We Offer?
Treatment of Knee Conditions
And Many More!
Dr. Mehta offers diagnosis and treatment of all knee conditions and can offer her specialist opinion as an expert knee doctor.
Knee Joint Anatomy & Function
Your knee is one of the strongest joints in your body as it must take your whole body’s weight when you move. The knee joint is a “hinge” joint, meaning it mostly bends back and forth in one direction. Your knee muscles are powerful muscles in your thigh that must move your knee back and forth.
This allows you to move, run, and jump. To stay in position and absorb the impact of walking and running, the knee contains:
The knee is often damaged during sports, when the knee suffers direct force or awkward twists. These forces can sprain and tear the knee’s ligaments and cartilage. The knee is also susceptible to wear and tear as you age, so knee arthritis is common.
Your knee joint includes four bones:
- The femur (thigh bone) is the long bone that connects your hip to your knee.
- The patella (kneecap) is the small bone that sits in front of your knee joint, covering and protecting it.
- The tibia (shin bone) is the main bone in your lower leg, connecting your knee to your ankle.
- The fibula (outer shin bone) is the other bone in your lower leg, placed to the side of your tibia.
Your knee joint has two types of cartilage – the articular cartilage and the menisci. Cartilage is the tough elastic tissue that helps your joints move better. It absorbs shock and allows bones to move against each other without friction.
Your knee’s articular cartilage, also known as chondral cartilage, lines the surface of all your knee bones. This protects them from wear and tear as the knee joint moves. In knee osteoarthritis, your knee cartilage wears down. This causes more friction in the bones, leading to knee pain and stiffness.
The knee menisci are two thick pads of cartilage that sit inside your knee joint. These act as shock absorbers to take the impact of walking, running, and landing from jumps. They also help stabilize the knee and reduce friction when you move your knee joint.
Your knee has four key ligaments that help to stabilize the knee. They also keep the knee bones in position while the knee joint moves.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) – Located in the middle of your knee joint. The ACL ligament forms a cross with the posterior cruciate ligament. This keeps the femur and the tibia held together. ACL tears are the most common knee ligament injury.
Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) – Also located in the middle of the knee. The PCL ligament works with the ACL to stop your tibia from moving backward. Without these two ligaments, your knee would become unstable.
Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) – Situated at the inner side of your knee joint. The MCL ligament keeps the inside of your femur and tibia held together. This prevents your knee from buckling inwards.
Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) – Located on the outer side of your knee joint. This is opposite the medial collateral ligament and holds theoutside of the femur and fibula together.
Muscles & Tendons
The main two muscle groups of your knee are the quadriceps and the hamstrings. There are other muscles in your thigh that help with knee movements. But, the bulk of the thigh muscles is made up of these two muscle groups.
The quadriceps are large muscles on the front of your thigh which connect to the patella. When your quadriceps contract it pulls on your patella. This in turn pulls on the tibia via the patellar tendon. This straightens your leg. You can suffer injuries and tears from both the quadriceps and patellar tendon.
The hamstrings are large muscles on the back of your thigh that attach to your tibia and fibula. When your hamstrings contract, it pulls on your tibia and fibula, bending the knee.