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The Bee's Knee Ligaments

"to be excellent or of extremely high standard"

We hear of the various ligaments in the knee...usually as an abbreviation. MCL, LCL ACL...

Here is some wonderful fascial-lensed anatomy info about the knee's ligaments and fascial connections from a book called Fascial Release for Structural Balance. This is a go to for Anatomy Trains students, as Thomas Myers is the co-author. Enjoy!

The rest of this info is summarized from the above mentioned text.

The knee is the area (joint) where the femur meets the tibia. The connection of these two body parts is interesting because they are 2 rounded condyles (femur) meeting a flat plateau (tibia). Because these surfaces do not match up in shape, there must be movement for these surfaces to maintain balance...but not too much movement. The knee is similar to the shoulder in that there isn't much help and holding happening (not like the ball and socket joint of the hip), security and balance is left up to alignment and balance of the connections around the bones to help it stay on track.

Here are some familiar terms surrounding the knee:

MCL (medial collateral ligament):

  • part of the knee capsule

  • not as strong as the LCL

  • more prone to injury

  • frequent site for surgery b/c once weakened will stay weak for life

LCL (lateral collateral ligament):

  • under the IT band

  • not part of knee capsule but very strong and hard to break

ACL (anterior collateral ligament) & PCL (posterior collateral ligament):

  • prevent forward / backward sliding of the femur on the tibia

  • create a locking in extension to prevent hyperextension of the knee

  • can become loose and overstretched by a sustained hyperextension standing posture

  • loosen when the tibia is turned laterally on the femur, and tighten when the tibia is rotated medially, or when the femur is turned laterally on a fixed tibia

  • many knee compromising injuries occur when the foot and lower leg are fixed on the ground and the upper body turns at the knee instead of other major joints (hip, spine, head)

These ligaments are stronger parts of the knee capsule.

For knee stabilization, we must look at the ligaments, not the bones.

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