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Knee Joint Movements, ROMs, and Muscles of Movement

The knee joint is a complex and intricate structure that plays a vital role in human locomotion. It is responsible for a wide range of movements, including flexion, extension, rotation, and gliding. These movements allow us to walk, run, jump, and perform other activities that require mobility.

Knee Joint Movements

  • Flexion: Flexion is the bending of the knee, bringing the heel towards the buttocks. The primary muscles responsible for knee flexion are the hamstrings, which are located on the back of the thigh. Other muscles that contribute to knee flexion include the gracilis, sartorius, and popliteus.
  • Extension: Extension is the straightening of the knee. The primary muscle responsible for knee extension is the quadriceps, which is located on the front of the thigh.
  • Rotation: Rotation is the turning of the tibia (shinbone) on the femur (thighbone). Medial rotation is the turning of the tibia inwards, while lateral rotation is the turning of the tibia outwards. The primary muscles responsible for medial rotation are the semimembranosus, semitendinosus, gracilis, sartorius, and popliteus. The primary muscle responsible for lateral rotation is the biceps femoris.
  • Gliding: Gliding is the forward and backward movement of the tibia on the femur. This movement occurs during activities such as walking and running.

Knee Joint Range of Motion (ROM)

The range of motion (ROM) of the knee joint is the amount of movement that is possible at the joint. The normal ROM for knee flexion is 0° to 135°. The normal ROM for knee extension is 0° to 10°. Normal ROM for medial rotation is 0° to 15°. The normal ROM for lateral rotation is 0° to 30°.

Muscles of Knee Movement

The following are the muscles that are responsible for the movement of the knee joint:

  • Quadriceps: The quadriceps is a group of four muscles that are located on the front of the thigh. The quadriceps are responsible for knee extension.
  • Hamstrings: The hamstrings are a group of three muscles that are located on the back of the thigh. The hamstrings are responsible for knee flexion.
  • Gracilis: The gracilis is a muscle that is located on the inner thigh. The gracilis is responsible for knee flexion and medial rotation.
  • Sartorius: The sartorius is a muscle that is located on the outer thigh. The sartorius is responsible for knee flexion and medial rotation.
  • Popliteus: The popliteus is a muscle that is located behind the knee. The popliteus is responsible for knee flexion, medial rotation, and unlocking the knee.
  • Biceps femoris: The biceps femoris is a muscle that is located on the back of the thigh. The biceps femoris is responsible for knee flexion and lateral rotation.

Conclusion

The knee joint is a complex and important joint that plays a vital role in human locomotion. The muscles that are responsible for the movement of the knee joint are essential for activities such as walking, running, and jumping. Understanding the anatomy and function of the knee joint is important for preventing injuries and maintaining optimal joint health.

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