Your knee is the largest joint in your body. It is a "hinge-type" joint made up of three bones: the femur (thighbone), tibia (shinbone), and the patella (kneecap).
The ends of these bones are covered with smooth white tissue called articular cartilage. This slippery surface helps your knee bones glide smoothly as you bend or straighten your leg.
The menisci are located between the tibia and femur. These C-shaped wedges act as "shock absorbers" and stabilize and cushion the joint.
Four ligaments in your knee act like strong ropes to hold the bones together, keep your knee stable, and allow it to bend. These are:
- The medial collateral ligament (MCL)
- The lateral collateral ligament (LCL)
- The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
- The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)