Knee Joint Case Study

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1.2 Joint Selection
With the aim of the project identified, the scope of the project was narrowed to coincide with the time available for the project. It was decided to narrow the focus of the project to one specific joint and the joint chosen was the knee. An investigation was undertaken to better understand the knee joint in order to evaluate how the system proposed by this project could help improve knee rehabilitation. The knee joint is the largest, most complex, and possibly the most vulnerable joint in the body, it is medically known as the tibiofemoral joint. This joint is a complex hinge joint and in addition to allowing flexion and extension, it permits limited rolling, gliding, and rotational movement. This joint is dependent on the muscles and ligaments which surround it for strength. The structure of knee is examined below:
1.2.1 Bones
The knee is made up of four bones. The femur superiorly, which is the large bone in the thigh. This attaches by ligaments and a capsule to the tibia (or the shinbone) inferiorly. Just below and next to the tibia is the fibula, which runs parallel to the tibia. The patella (knee cap) is the small bone in the front of the knee. It slides up and down in a groove in the femur (the femoral groove) as the knee bends and straightens. The bones of the knee can be seen in figure 1 below.

1.2.2 Muscles
The knee muscles which go across the knee joint are the quadriceps and the hamstrings. The quadriceps muscles are on the front of the knee (extend the knee), and the hamstrings are on the back of the knee (flex the knee).
1.2.3 Ligaments
Ligaments are strong rope like bodies that help connect bones and provide stability to joints. In the knee, there are four main ligaments which are: the media...

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... is another type of cartilage in the knee called articular cartilage. This cartilage is a smooth shiny material that covers the bones in the knee joint. There is articular cartilage anywhere that two bony surfaces come into contact with each other. In the knee, articular cartilage covers the ends of the femur, the femoral groove, the top of the tibia and the underside of the patella. Articular cartilage allows the knee bones to move easily as the knee bends and straightens.
1.2.5 Tendons
Tendons connect muscles to bone. The strong quadriceps muscles on the front of the thigh attach to the top of the patella via the quadriceps tendon. This tendon covers the patella and continues down to form the patellar tendon. The patellar tendon in turn, attaches to the front of the tibia. The hamstring muscles on the back of the thigh attach to the tibia at the back of the knee.
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