Written for YOU Massage & Therapy Centre Southampton by Physiotherapist Phil Coleman
The knee joint is a modified hinge joint, meaning that it flexes (bends) and extends (straightens) but also has a small degree of rotation. Its stability is largely provided by ligaments such as the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments (ACL and PCL) and the medial and lateral ligaments. The knee’s movements are provided mainly by the quadriceps at the front of the thigh (knee extensors) and the hamstrings and calf complex behind (knee flexors). The knees also have soft cartilage pads (the menisci) shaped like moon crescents on the medial and lateral aspect. These act as shock absorbs and give knees greater stability.