Anatomy of the Knee

Lisa

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All too often we as MAist sustain injuries to our knees and often we will post here about what we had torn, dislocated, etc.

I found this website that explains the function and anatomy of the knee complete with pictures so that when one of us explains our injuries the rest of us can perhaps understand more about what happened to the joint. I am hoping that it will help us better understand the seriousness of our injuries and how to help ourselves heal quicker and smarter.

Knee Joint Anatomy and Function
 

mantis

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thanks for sharing
i really did not want to "visualize" what's inside my knee... now i am going to be more paranoid haha
thanks
 

Gemini

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Excellent info, Lisa. Maybe you should consider a sticky.
 

TigerWoman

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It doesn't talk about the LCL and the MCL, the lateral ligaments on the side of the knee. I know when I stretch mine out too much and they become loose, my knee doesn't track right. I wear a velcro brace with metal inserts on the sides to aid the support of these two ligaments so it tracks right. My problem is due to very little or no cartilage left.

Here is a site describing the side ligaments of the knee:
http://www.orthoassociates.com/knee_lig.htm
TW
 

Robert Lee

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My right knee is not to good. I blame part of that to the old days of kicking alot of air. That is a bad problem in many M/A schools every where. kicking hard in the air ruins knees. Most instructors lean onto how they were taught. and not being smart. Harder kicks should be done on bags and shield where softer kicks can be performed in the air. No resistance to a hard kick in the air and so it over extends your knees weakening tendons ligaments and extra wear on the joint it self. Same goes for hard punches in the air the elbow and shoulder becomes a problem. Training smarter joints last longer
 

shesulsa

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Robert Lee said:
My right knee is not to good. I blame part of that to the old days of kicking alot of air. That is a bad problem in many M/A schools every where. kicking hard in the air ruins knees. Most instructors lean onto how they were taught. and not being smart. Harder kicks should be done on bags and shield where softer kicks can be performed in the air. No resistance to a hard kick in the air and so it over extends your knees weakening tendons ligaments and extra wear on the joint it self. Same goes for hard punches in the air the elbow and shoulder becomes a problem. Training smarter joints last longer

Word!

I've seen some Korean schools have their students stand on one leg and kick the air repeatedly with the other 50-100 times without stopping as though it were good training. This is an INCREDIBLE strain on the knee and should never be done.
 

Tarot

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Oh man is this good timing or what?! :D Totally useful, thanks for posting Lisa!

Robert Lee said:

My right knee is not to good. I blame part of that to the old days of kicking alot of air. That is a bad problem in many M/A schools every where. kicking hard in the air ruins knees. Most instructors lean onto how they were taught. and not being smart. Harder kicks should be done on bags and shield where softer kicks can be performed in the air. No resistance to a hard kick in the air and so it over extends your knees weakening tendons ligaments and extra wear on the joint it self. Same goes for hard punches in the air the elbow and shoulder becomes a problem. Training smarter joints last longer
I second this. It's one of the reasons I left my previous TKD school. We did a lot of roundhouse kicks (and kicks in general) to the air and not on a bag. The knee I just blew out, was the one that would bug me after doing those kicks. Coincidence? I doubt it.
 
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Lisa

Lisa

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Tarot said:
Oh man is this good timing or what?! :D Totally useful, thanks for posting Lisa!

You are welcome Tarot! Truth be told you were the inspiration for my thread! I hope you heal quickly!
 

TigerWoman

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shesulsa said:
Word!

I've seen some Korean schools have their students stand on one leg and kick the air repeatedly with the other 50-100 times without stopping as though it were good training. This is an INCREDIBLE strain on the knee and should never be done.

Oh, we do that all the time, regular practice. Actually that is no problem to the knee unless you are jumping or hopping it. In fact, we do that one leg, front, round, side, axe--100 times each, then put it down to change legs. :) These are not done hard but fast-- in the air, to a focus paddle, or a bag as a target. What IS bad is when you do fast spin heels in the air with not being able to brake it, so the knee hyperextends. Can't see anyone doing 50 of these at one time though, as ten can get you too dizzy to go on.

What is the problem is when an instructor asks a student, especially an over 40's student to hop on one leg and repeatedly kick across the room for 10-15 minutes. That was an exercise today which I refused to do and have for the last three years as that is all your weight coming down on one knee heavy. Good way to grind up cartilage especially if your knee isn't tracking right. TW
 

Andrew Green

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Robert Lee said:
My right knee is not to good. I blame part of that to the old days of kicking alot of air. That is a bad problem in many M/A schools every where. kicking hard in the air ruins knees. Most instructors lean onto how they were taught. and not being smart. Harder kicks should be done on bags and shield where softer kicks can be performed in the air. No resistance to a hard kick in the air and so it over extends your knees weakening tendons ligaments and extra wear on the joint it self. Same goes for hard punches in the air the elbow and shoulder becomes a problem. Training smarter joints last longer

Yup, snapping punches and kicks hard into nothing is something elbows and knees where not designed to handle. The sudden switch in direction at a fast speed is too much for the joint.

The other common problem is poor pivoting, so the suppoting leg doesn't pivot and it should which tears at the ligaments on the sides of knees. Indoor soccer and basketball are also very bad for this as you have to change direction quickly, foot doesn't turn but the hips do.
 

shesulsa

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TigerWoman said:
Oh, we do that all the time, regular practice. Actually that is no problem to the knee unless you are jumping or hopping it. In fact, we do that one leg, front, round, side, axe--100 times each, then put it down to change legs. :)
What IS bad is when you do spin heels in the air with not being able to brake it, so the knee hyperextends. Can't see anyone doing 50 of these at one time though, as ten can get you too dizzy to go on.

What is the problem is when an instructor asks a student, especially an over 40's student to hop on one leg and repeatedly kick across the room for 10-15 minutes. That was an exercise today which I refused to do and have for the last three years as that is all your weight coming down on one knee heavy. Good way to grind up cartilage especially if your knee isn't tracking right. TW

These are not good training exercises. As explained to me by my orthopedic surgeons, the structure of the knee joint is not designed to support the weight of the lower leg, especially in movement for that length of time. The weight of the lower leg and the foot (and anything that's on the foot, e.g. shoe/ankle weights) will pull the Tibial and fibial heads even just a fraction of a milimeter, widening the groove (so to speak) making the track the hinge operates on wider. Hence, a knee will not track well is this wide groove, ligaments will relax and elongate and the problem becomes compounded.

I suppose a person has to ask themselves - why would you train this way? Is there ANY situation where you have to kick with only one leg repeatedly for this long a period of time? The point of diminished returns occurs far earlier when training goes longer than need be.

We used to do over 100 jumping jacks - sometimes up to 300. But then ... what's the point? If you have good cardiovascular fitness which is attainable through training methods easier and safer on the joints, then your heart and lungs have learned how to breathe and function during long-term exertion. There just is no need to injure the joints in exchange for "fitness" or bragging rights.

Bragging rights never once bought me as much as a cuppa.
 

TigerWoman

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Actually my orthopod gave me his blessing as long as the supporting knee isn't twisting and is stationary even better. But that was regarding my cartilage problems or lack thereof. While I haven't found having any trouble doing 100 waist high round, side, front or axe, Hitting a harder target like a bag, faster, is where I have knee damage and I don't have to do many, as the knee joint takes the shock. What my doc also said was that it is not a good idea to add weight on the ankle and kick fast and we never do that in high repetition. It would be tough then to do a 100 round kicks with added weight and not smart. Its okay doing a low number of kicks slowly though with weight. I did find trouble with doing a -high- sidekick with weight with the knee. Too much weight and it takes the calves out of the equation and there is where that separation occurs. But then my comments were about just normal easy kicking.

We build up slowly to condition the whole leg structure, quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, etc. to not only take the weight of the lower leg but kick~it is not just hanging there. BTW, this is not a cardio exercise persay, it is more strength training unless you are a newbie then it may be both. A newbie white belt might do 25 on a leg for a couple of months, then go to 35. A black belt class would do hundreds. I have no problem lifting my leg say for 100 round kick, no wear and tear on my knee from that. What it is hard on is the working muscles contracting. These exercises are what make TKDins so strong in ~kicking~ and after doing these for nearly ten years, they made my legs alot stronger. No, holding a leg while you are kicking is not the problem when you train it. TW
 

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I suppose our orthopods disagree as do you and I on this matter.
 

TigerWoman

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Yeah, I guess if you put ten doctors in the room and ask them separately they would all disagree or be in separate camps. However, I've lived my art and done the kicking and know how my knees feel after I lead kickboxing which is pretty much the same thing, hundreds of kicks. I do a hundred fast while the newbies do a third of the amount. I guess you got to be there. TW
 

shesulsa

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We both practice Korean kicking arts. I've had surgery on both knees but have no tracking problems - we do not stand and do 100 kicks on one leg waist height and above, nor do I have any tracking problems whatsoever in my knees. Sometimes the proof is in the pudding ... or the meniscus as could be said.
 

TigerWoman

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My problems are largely due to twenty years of running on asphalt. I had a meniscal tear of the cartilage when I did a tornado round kick as a blue belt and my body went one way and the knee the other. I also had another one when I had to do a 360 stationery jump from knife hand back stance to the same stance as a 1st dan. Because of no meniscus left, my knee does not track right and three of the quads tend to overpower the inner VM muscle. So I do exercise for that. I partly do kickboxing, repetitive kicks, to strengthen my ligaments and to keep my overall muscle strength up because I don't jump anymore. So the proof in the pudding is that my knees are in good shape, better than if I just did self defense and no kicking of any substance. I don't do anything that does make ligaments relax and elongate or become too loose to keep the patella from tracking. Actually I don't use my knee braces while kickboxing as I want the knee to work. And I don't need it then either. And my orthopod, a runner, said he wished he could do TKD so keep doing it because it keeps arthritis at bay, but stop the jumping. So that's what I did. So saying that was the reason not to do repetitive kicks is actually the reason to do them. TW
 

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If you are kicking air with non power kicking But speed and controled kicks where you do not over flex the knee Yes you may not injure it. But power kicks in the air over extend it and make it weaker and weaker over time. I dont know of any past instructors From years past that did not develop knees problems. As back when I started training that was 34 years ago. Most schools punched and kicked hard in the open air. It was not smart. I have known several that had problems later with both knees. It took me about 7 years to have to have surgury on my knee. And since then have trained much smarter no more full power kicks in the air. And do not instruct useing any power kicking other then shield and bag work. AND have had less knee problems and NO students with knee injurys from kicking.
 
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