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Knee injuries and cartilage problems

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The human knee is a synovial joint and provides a stable structure of support for our bodies and enable us to walk (ambulate). For a knee to function properly so that we can stand, walk, run, crouch, jump and turn, it needs to have flexibility and stability.

There are both fixed as well as moving parts in our knees, including bones, cartilage, muscles, ligaments and tendon, that work together to enable our knees to move and function normally - any sort of injuries or dysfunction to these structures will result in dysfunction and pain and swelling.

In all the human joints, the bones are "protected" and prevented from grinding/pounding each other by a natural padding called cartilage which behaves like a shock absorber. Bones are joined to other bones by strong, elastic bands of tissue called ligaments; and tendon are really tough cords of tissue that connects muscles to bones.

Muscles work in pairs to help joints move and bend and straighten, and though muscles are technically not part of a joint, they are important because strong muscles help to protect and support joints.

Sometimes knee problems are caused by injury (trauma) such as direct blows or damage or sudden movements that overstrain your knee beyond its normal range of movement, and are common in many sporting accidents in all age groups.

Other knee problems, such as osteoarthritis in the knee, are caused by prolong and repetitive wear and tear from daily use.

Anatomy of the human knee

The knee is made of bones, cartilages, ligaments, tendons and muscles (see diagram)

Our knee joints are comprised of the meeting point of 3 bones:

  • the femur (thigh or upper leg bone)
  • the tiba (shin bone of the larger bone of the lower leg)
  • the patella (knee cap)

Our patellas are 2-3 inches wide and 3-4 inches long, and it sits over the other bones at the front of the knee joint and glides/slides when the leg moves. It serves to protect the knee and provides a leverage to our knee muscles.

The end of the three bones in our knee joints are covered with an articular cartilage, which is a tough, elastic material that serves 2 functions: absorbing shock as well as helping the knee to glide/move smoothly.

The meniscus separates the bones of the knee and are "pads" of connective and cushion-like tissue. It is crescent shaped and located between the tibia and femur on both the outer and inner side of each knee. Singularly, they're known as menisci and cushion the lower part of our legs from the weight of the rest of the body as well as helps to enhance stability and movement.

Meniscus

There are 2 groups of muscles at the knees - the quadriceps muscle that are made of 4 muscles on the front of the thigh services to help straighten the knee from a bent position.

At the back of the thigh is the hamstring, which functions to help the knee bend, runs along the back of the thigh from the hip to just below the knee.

Keeping both of these groups of muscles healthy and in good condition will prevent knee injuries as the muscle can and will support/absorb high levels of impact/load.

Tendons and Ligaments

Our quadriceps tendon connects the quadriceps muscle to the patella and provides the power to extend/straighten our leg. Four ligaments connects the femur and tibia and gives the joint strength and stability:

  • The medial collateral ligament (MCL) provides stability to the inner (medial) part of the knee.
  • The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) provides stability to the outer (lateral) part of the knee.
  • The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), in the center of the knee, limits rotation and the forward movement of the tibia.
  • The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), also in the center of the knee, limits backward movement of the tibia.

Other ligaments are part of the knee capsule, which is a protective, fiber-like structure that wraps around the knee joint. Inside the capsule, the joint is lined with a thin, soft tissue called synovium.

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Specialist Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and specialist rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.

Areas of specialization

  • physiotherapy: back and neck (spine), sports, shoulder, hip, knee, ankle
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  • read more on our specializations here

All our therapists are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCM). See our entire team here by location and specialization.

Initially, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover. They then provide expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term solution.

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Disclaimer
We are a wholly Singapore Private Limited group of licensed physiotherapists, hand therapists, podiatrists, chiropractors, sports massage therapists, clinical pilates practitioners and TCM physicians practicing in our scope of rehabilitation and its areas of specializations. As listed in our website are the list of services we provide our clients as referred by their medical doctors or by self referrals/word of mouth.

The range of rehabilitation results vary from patients to patients, depending on a variety of factors and reasons such as severity of condition, genetics, gender and age. However, we will still deliver the best evidence-based-practice of physiotherapy, hand therapy, TCM, sports training and deep tissue release therapy that we can deliver.

The information available on this site is for educational purposes only, if you need a full professional advise on physiotherapy, hand therapy and occupational therapy, please schedule an appointment with us by contacting our staff by Call/SMS/WhatsApp at xx, thanks!

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