My STEAM project will focus on describing the knee structure. I drew this anatomical diagram of the knee joint so that I have a deeper understanding and memory of it. We consider the knee joint is a modified hinged joint because it has the ability to rotate in addition to its main movements of flexion and extension. Again, it has a certain angle of adduction and abduction. At this time, I will also compare the hinge joint to five other joints in the human body.
When I introduced myself at the beginning of this course, I mentioned that I was most interested in the musculoskeletal system because it was so close to my work and daily life. I used to deal with too many complaints of knee problems during work. Knee joint injury is a common physiologic problem that affects patients’ normal living ability and mental health (Zhang et al., 2020). The knee joint consists of two separate joints: the tibiofemoral joint and the patellofemoral joint. The tibiofemoral joint consists of the distal femur and the proximal tibia. The patellofemoral joint is composed of the patella and the femur. The knee joint is composed of two meniscus, patella, joint capsule and a large number of ligaments, bursa and nerves, and is surrounded by muscles. The knee joint is located in the middle of the lower extremity, allowing the lower extremity to flex.
I would like to talk mainly about the meniscus and ligaments of the soft tissue structure of the knee. The knee contains the medial and lateral meniscus. The meniscus is a “C” shaped disc of fibrocartilage. The meniscus, which shares load and absorbs shock in the knee joint, is two semicircles of fibrous cartilage (Li et al., 2019). The meniscus is a load-bearing tissue that acts as a buffer. They help sustain up to 50 percent of the load, which increases as the knee flexes. Depending on their position, ligaments can be classified as anterior, posterior, medial, lateral, or internal. Ligaments play a critical role in providing stability beyond one degree of freedom and in inhibiting knee movement during external load (Orozco et al., 2018). The anterior ligaments include the patellar ligament which is the ligament tissue of the quadriceps muscle attached to the tibial trochanter.
As we know that the knee joint is the largest synovial joint in the human body. These six types of synovial joints are pivot, hinge, condyloid, saddle, plane, and ball-and socket-joints. The pivot joints provide rotation, such as between the first and second cervical vertebrae, allowing the head to rotate. The hinge joints allow for flexion and extension, works like a door hinge, elbow and finger joints are the main hinge joints. The radiocarpal joint of wrist is an example of a condyloid joint which allows circular motion, flexion, and extension. The saddle joint allows different motions other than rotation. There are the saddle joints of the thumb (between the first metacarpal and the trapezoid). The ball-and-socket joints are free prismatic joint that can rotate on an axis, such as hip and shoulder joints. The plane joints move with each other in the same plane. The main plane joints include the intervertebral joints and the bones of the wrists and ankles.
Our knee joint is the largest weight-bearing hinge joint in the human body, and there is a lot of knowledge about joints. I only want to make people pay attention to their knees through this short essay, so that more people can live a healthy life.
Zhang, L., Liu, G., Han, B., Wang, Z., Yan, Y., Ma, J., & Wei, P. (2020). Knee Joint Biomechanics in Physiological Conditions and How Pathologies Can Affect It: A Systematic Review. Applied bionics and biomechanics, 2020, 7451683. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/7451683
Li, L., Yang, X., Yang, L., Zhang, K., Shi, J., Zhu, L., Liang, H., Wang, X., & Jiang, Q. (2019). Biomechanical analysis of the effect of medial meniscus degenerative and traumatic lesions on the knee joint. American journal of translational research, 11(2), 542–556.
Orozco, G. A., Tanska, P., Mononen, M. E., Halonen, K. S., & Korhonen, R. K. (2018). The effect of constitutive representations and structural constituents of ligaments on knee joint mechanics. Scientific reports, 8(1), 2323. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-20739-w
Joy’s STEAM project is an anatomical drawing of the right synovial knee joint, shown both anteriorly and posteriorly. It is well drawn, in that the various tissues and structures are easy to discern and understand. In combination with Joy’s essay it is clear that she wants to convey the complexity and essential nature of the knee, which is a critical joint. She expresses past experiences of encountering people with knee pain and the way that can impair normal life functioning and even mental health. As an aspiring mental health student with the desire to become a counselor, I connect a great deal with the impact pain and reduced functionality can have on mental health.
As a piece of art, the thing that most comes forward to me in viewing this piece is the juxtaposition of fragility and resilience in human anatomy. I’m reminded that this joint bears most of the body’s weight, and more over it is responsible for the shock absorption of the various movements we make in our external environments. Without this joint’s healthy functioning, natural survival isn’t possible and even in the modern world life is rendered difficult. And yet the structures of this joint have withstood an uncountable number of falls for me as a runner, climber, hiker, and the many other activities I’ve considered central to my life.
The element that takes this piece beyond the material covered in this class is the specific identification of specific structures like the lateral meniscus, fibular lateral ligament, transverse intermeniscal ligament, and more. The body is extremely complex, and this course covered general high level concepts to understand basic principles at play for the body system’s as a whole. This piece of art invites the viewer into humility, and into diving deeper into the nuanced and specific knowledge of the knee joint itself. I can’t help but reflect on the forms of knee pain I’ve experienced in the past, and what I need to do to take care of this joint going forward.
The care Joy took in expanding and communicating her knowledge of the knee joint is plain to see in this piece.