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Anatomy | The Knee Joint – Part 1

Anatomy | The Knee Joint – Part 1

Knee Joint Anatomy

This little knee joint is a tricky piece of anatomy to get your head around.  There are a surprising number of components – bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons – that work together for the very simple function of enabling mobilising: walking, running, stepping, sitting, standing.

Also, the knee joint that is particularly prone to osteoarthritis*.  Musculoskeletal conditions, including arthritis and others such as osteoporosis*, and back pain, are Australia’s most common chronic condition as it impacts one third of our population which culminates in a considerable burden of disease on our country.   Preventative strategies circulate around three main principles: weight control, maintain an active lifestyle and protecting joints from injury.  But for some, the disease has started, and managing this with other interventions becomes necessary.

Arthritis has 1.6 million Australian sufferers.    In 2007-2008, there were 26,712 knee replacements.  A staggering 97% of hip and knee replacements are due to arthritis.  This is because the life time of weight bearing has long term effects on this humble little knee joint.  It is an incremental disease where deterioration happens over decades.   Degradation can happen so gradually that it is almost imperceptible.   But eventually the pain, swelling, loss of mobility, deformity and muscle wasting are the final stages of a diseased knee joint that requires attention.  Quality of life is impact radically at the end-stage of this disease.

So, knee replacement surgery becomes a good option for those at this stage whose symptoms are progressed and their quality of life is considerably impacted.  However, understanding the surgery about a joint you thought you knew well is overwhelming.  This video, which is part one of two, aims to debunk some of the mystique of this knee joint.  In an honesty, it won’t debunk them all and having a complete understanding of this joint isn’t easy, but these videos will provide some understanding to the replaced surfaces of a joint and how to manage the rehabilitation.


OSTEOARTHRITIS: A degenerative joint condition affecting the weight-bearing joints

OSTEOPOROSIS:  A progressive loss of bone density and decrease in the strength of the skeleton with a resultant risk of fracture.

KNEE REPLACEMENT:  the damaged knee joint is removed and replaced with an artificial one with the intent to restore knee joint function, help relieve pain and improve the quality of life


Australian Health Priority Areas
 Arthritis in Australia
Nic Nash-Arnold has been nursing for twenty years. She has nursed thousands of patients, mainly in the operating theatre. Nicole has worked in both public and private hospitals in Queensland. Ten years ago, she left the “coal face” of nursing and moved into a Nurse Educator role and then a series of senior and executive hospital administration roles. Nic has always believed in the empowerment with education. That might be empowering nurses to provide better care or patients to take better care, but education is always the centre of the solution. Google 

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