The structure of a joint

The structure of a joint

Joints, particularly hinge joints like the elbow and the knee, are complex structures made up of bone, muscles, synovium and cartilage and ligaments, designed to bear weight and move the body through space. The knee consists of the femur (thigh bone) above, and the tibia (shin bone) and fibula below. The patella, or kneecap rides on top of the lower portion of the femur and the top portion of the tibia. The muscles and ligaments connect these bones and the space between them is cushioned by fluid-filled capsules (synovia) and cartilage. When muscles are exercised, they pull on the bones, strengthening them. The range of motion of a joint represents how far it can be flexed (bent) and extended (stretched).

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 10/03/2005
  • A.D.A.M. Medical Illustration Team

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch)

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

This page was last updated: May 31, 2013

         
Average rating (1)