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FUNCTIONAL ANATOMY education The knee is a complex structure comprised of several separate but complementary joints. Normal movement in this region requires coordinated efforts of both the hinging tibiofemoral and gliding patellofemoral joints. Proper joint alignment and adequate spacing, optimal tension in key soft tissues, and coordinated contraction of dynamic stabilizers all contribute to optimal knee function. PATELLOFEMORAL JOINT ANATOMY The patella is a triangular-shaped bone situated on the front of the knee. The posterior surface articulates with the femoral groove, a deep furrow located on the anterior surface of the distal femur. Both the posterior surface of the patella and the anterior surface of the femoral groove are covered in articular cartilage, a specialized type of connective tissue that provides a smooth, lubricated surface that reduces friction and distributes forces. The patella is a sesamoid bone, meaning it develops and remains embedded within a tendon where it passes over a joint. The patella is embedded in the large, thick patellar tendon, a unified junction of the quadriceps muscles that crosses the tibiofemoral joint then inserts at the tibial tuberosity. In addition to the vertically oriented patellar tendon, several ligaments surround the patella and help maintain optimal lateral positioning within the femoral groove. This network of ligaments is referred to as the patellar retinaculum. Patellofemoral Joint By Christy Cael 42 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k m a r c h / a p r i l 2 0 1 9 Femur Rectus femoris Vastus medialis Pes anserine Tibial tuberosity Patellar tendon Patella Patellar retinaculum Patellar retinaculum Vastus lateralis Femoral groove Patellar tendon Patella (posterior surface) Tibia Fibula

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