WHAT IS A JOINT?
1. Articular Cartilage (Purple): The end of each bone is covered with articular cartilage. This is a tough material that cushions and protects the ends of the bones. When it degenerates, arthritis develops.
2. Synovial Membrane or Synovial Sac (Light Blue): Around each joint is the synovial sac which protects the joint and also secretes the synovial fluid. Synovial fluid serves to protect the joint, lubricate the joint and provide nourishment to the articular cartilage.
3. Bursa (Dark Blue): A bursa is a small sac that is not part of the joint but is near the joint. It contains a fluid that lubricates the movement of muscles as the muscle moves across muscle or as the muscle moves across bone. In some ways it is similar to the synovial sac.
4. Muscle (Red): Muscles are elastic tissues that have the ability to change length. By becoming shorter and longer, muscles allow for motion at the joints.
5. Tendon (Red): Tendons are fibrous cords that attach muscles to the bones. Unlike muscles which change length (contract), the tendons are unable to change length. However, as the muscle moves, the tendon to which it is attached also moves. You can feel the tendons on the back of your hand or in the back of your knee.
6. Ligaments: (Green) Ligaments are much shorter fibrous cords that attach go from bone to bone. Typically, ligaments are located around the joints. They provide for the stability of a joint and hold the adjacent bones in the proper alignment.
7. Meniscal Cartilage (Not shown): Meniscal cartilage is a type of specialized tissue. It is not found in every joint in the body. It is a C-shaped piece of cartilage which is located between the major weight bearing bones of the knee. It has several functions including stability, lubrication, nutrition, and shock absorption. To get some idea of what cartilage is like, feel the middle of your nose or ears. These are also made of cartilage. Meniscal cartilage tissue is similar to the "gristle" that is found in at the joint of a chicken leg and a chicken wing.
For more information on ankle sprains: ANKLE SPRAINS
For more information on meniscal injuries: TORN CARTILAGE (MENISCUS)
For more information on degenerative arthritis treatment: HYALURONIC (HA) INJECTIONS FOR ARTHRITIS
THIS MATERIAL DOES NOT CONSTITUTE MEDICAL ADVICE. IT IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. PLEASE CONSULT A PHYSICIAN FOR SPECIFIC TREATMENT RECOMMENDATIONS.
THE CENTER FOR ORTHOPAEDICS & SPORTS MEDICINE
1211 Johnson Ferry Rd
Marietta, GA 30068