You are currently browsing the Osteoarthritis Blog blog archives for April, 2011.

Calendar

April 2011
M T W T F S S
« Mar   May »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

Archive for April, 2011

Ligaments of the Knee

Ligaments of the Knee

A ligament is a band of fibrous tissue that connects bones to other bones.  There are four ligaments holding your knee together:

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL):  This band of fibrous tissue connects the tibia to the femur.  It is responsible for keeping the femur from sliding too far backwards (posterior).

Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL):   This ligament also connects the tibia to the femur.  It is responsible for keeping the femur from sliding too far forwards (anterior).

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL): This ligament connects the tibia to the femur on the inside (medial side)  of your knee.  It is responsible for keeping your knee from rotating too far outward (abduction).

Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL):  This ligament connects the tibia to the femur on the outside (lateral side) of your knee.  It is responsible for keeping your knee from rotating too far inward (adduction).

If anyone of these ligaments becomes injured it can affect how your knee moves.  Over time the resulting tracking problems could lead to osteoarthritis.  The knee is a complicated joint.  Even the slightest change in how it slides and glides can cause problems.



Contrary to popular belief, exercising does not wear out joints. Joints start to wear out for a variety of reasons, usually due to age, arthritis or other medical conditions, and injuries accumulated over a lifetime. Activity is rarely the culprit, as joints are designed to move. When joints aren’t moved, they begin to stiffen up.

It’s sort of a catch-22. Joint pain leads people to move less because movement can hurt, but without movement the pain can become more severe. One way to battle pain is to take joint health supplements, then, get moving! Even a walk around the neighborhood once a day can help keep your joints from stiffening up further.



Knee Joint

Knee Joint

A joint in the human body is where two or more bones come together.  The knee joint is where the thigh and lower leg meet, and it is the largest joint in the Human body.  It is a very complicated pivotal hinge joint that allows your leg to bend and straighten while at the same time turn slightly inward and outward.  When you walk your knee at times supports the entire weight of your body.  That is why it so susceptible to osteoarthritis, or wear-and-tear arthritis.

The knee is also a synovial joint.  A synovial joint is the most common and moveable joint in the Human body.  A capsule protects the synovial joint that is filled with a lubricating fluid.  This synovial fluid helps protect the surfaces of the knee that move against one another.  We will look at synovial capsules and fluids in a later blog post.



Knee Bones

Knee Bones

To understand how osteoarthritis affects your knee you need to understand how your knee works.  This series of blog posts will introduce you to the anatomy of your knee.  Let’s begin with the basic building blocks – the bones.  There are four bones we need to discuss:

Femur: Also known as the thigh bone is the longest bone in the human body.  The top of the femur forms the hip joint while the bottom of the femur forms the knee.

Patella: Also known as the knee cap.  It kind of looks like a triangle with its tip facing down towards your feet.  It is the largest sesamoid bone in your body.  A sesamoid bone is a bone embedded inside a tendon.  The patella’s primary role is to help you straighten your leg.

Tibia: Also known as the shin bone is the second largest bone in the human body.  It is the longest and strongest of the two bones that comprise the bottom of your knee and the top of your ankle.  It is the strongest weight-beaing bone in most people.

Fibula: Also known as the calf bone is the smaller on the two bones that comprise the bottom of your knee and the top of your ankle.  It’s located alongside the tibia towards the outside of your body.



Cold Water Fish

Salmon

Salmon contains an anti-inflammatory fat called omega-3.  Omega 3 Fatty acids have been shown to help with conditions such as coronary disease, cancer, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.  Wild salmon (from Alaska) is believed to contain more Omega 3s than farm raised salmon.

So salmon instead of steak the next time you’re out.  Your knees, heart, and waist line will all thank you.



Salad

Salad

Sigh.  Salad.  I know.  Every time it comes to changing your diet salads are always a recommendation.  Why can’t it be lobster, or steak, or chocolate milkshakes?

Salads are always recommended for healthy eating because they are good for you.  Spinach, dark green lettuce, tomatoes, celery, carrots, and radishes are rich in Vitamin C and other antioxidants.  These are nutrients that reduce swelling, as well as offer a host of other healthy side effects.

Eating salads can help reduce swelling and reduce the amount of weight you are carrying around.  The less you weigh the better your knees will feel.  So make salads as much a part of your knee osteoarthritis treatment program as medications and physical therapy.  What’s easier, eating a salad or figuring out how much your prescription  co-pay should be if your deductible hasn’t been met?