Integrated Functional Anatomy of the:

Knee Joint

by Stefanie DiCarrado DPT, PT, MSCS, NASM CPT, CES, PES

& Brent Brookbush DPT, PT, COMT, MS, PES, CES, CSCS, H/FS

Slide2CAC By Anatomist90 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

What's in a name

  • knee (n): "joint between the principal bones of the leg," Old English cneo, cneow "knee," from

    Proto-Germanic *knewam (source also of Old Norse kne,Old Saxonkneo, Old Frisian kni, Middle Dutch cnie, Dutch knie, Old High German kniu, German Knie, Gothic kniu), from PIE root *genu- (1) "knee; angle" (source also of Sanskrit janu, Avestan znum, Hittite genu "knee;" Greek gony "knee," gonia "corner, angle;" Latin genu "knee") (Etymology Online)

  • joint (n): "c. 1300, "an (anatomical) joint, a part of a body where two bones meet and move in

    contact with one another, the structure that holds such bones together," from Old French joint

    "joint of the body" (12c.), from Latin iunctus "united, connected, associated," past participle of iungere "join" (see jugular). " (Etymology Online)

From From

Bones (1 - 4):

  • The knee consists of 2 joints: the tibiofemoral joint and the patellofemoral joint enclosed within the same capsule (1)

    • Tibiofemoral Joint: Tibia and femur (1)
    • Patellofemoral Joint: Patella and femur (1)

Joint Type:

  • Tibiofemoral Joint

    • Diarthrosis
    • Synovial Joint

      • Modified Hinge Joint: considered "modified" due to its capacity to flex and extend in the sagittal plane, as well as rotate in the transverse plane - sometimes referred to as a condyloid joint.

  • Patellofemoral Joint

    • Diarthrosis

      • Synovial Joint

        • Gliding Joint


Illustration of the Tibial Plateau Note: The "Lateral Condyle" and "Medial Condyle" labels are not the condyles of the femur, but rather the depressions for the condyles on the tibial plateau.
By Henry Vandyke Carter - Henry Gray (1918) Anatomy of the Human Body, invalid ID