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Look After Your Knees

“ Be kind to your knees , you will miss them when they are gone” Sunscreen song. The knees are strange and wonderful joints. They have to be both stable and mobile. They have to cope with twisting movements, with walking, running and jumping. They are hinges and allow us to fold our legs which we do when we squat or sit cross legged. Watch how children fold their legs when they sit on the floor. The shin bone, the tibia which forms the lower part of the knee joint has the largest weight bearing surface in the body.   Anatomy The cartilages or menisci which belong to the knee and lie between the bony surfaces of the thigh (femur) and shin (tibia) help form smooth accurate surfaces which assist with movement, stability and shock absorption. Tough supporting tissue, the ligaments help bind and guide the movement of the knee. On the inside and outside of the knee are the collateral ligaments which prevent too much sideways movement. Inside the joint are the cruciate ligaments which form a powerful X shape. When you straighten your knee it rotates slightly and locks into position giving stability to your lower limb. This rotation takes place around the front (anterior) cruciate ligament. The rear cruciate ligament has the important task of preventing your femur sliding forward when you jump down from a height or when you are walking or running downhill. There are several bursae around the joint which are like small bags…

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