“Your knees are incredibly important, but also very vulnerable joints,” says Scott Martin, MD, associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School. “They allow you to walk, run, sit, stand, twist, turn, and do so much more. They’re greatly connected to the rest of your body, so you can’t think of your knees in isolation without considering what your feet, ankles and hips are doing, too.”
One of the reasons your knees suffer injury more so than any other joint in your body is their anatomy. Unlike your hips and shoulders, where the end of one bone fits neatly into a crevice within the other, your knees are hinge joints. “The femur and shin bones come together to form the joint, but don’t actually fit together,” says Christine Pollard, PhD, PT, an associate professor of exercise and sport science at Oregon State University. Instead, they’re connected by ligaments — soft tissues that give the joint lots of mobility, but also increase the likelihood of injury because the joint is inherently unstable, explains Pollard. Capping off the joint is the patella, or kneecap, which floats in the front of the joint and slides within a groove at the front of the femur.
Weak In The Knees?