The Medial Compartment of the Knee: Anatomy, Function, and Treatment (2022)

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Tim Petrie, DPT, OCS

The Medial Compartment of the Knee: Anatomy, Function, and Treatment (1)

Tim Petrie, DPT, OCS

Tim Petrie, DPT, OCS, is a board-certified orthopedic specialist who has practiced as a physical therapist for more than a decade.

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Published on May 13, 2021

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The Medial Compartment of the Knee: Anatomy, Function, and Treatment (2)

Medically reviewed byEva Umoh Asomugha, M.D.

Eva Umoh Asomugha, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in all conditions involving the foot and ankle region. She is based in northern Virginia.

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(Video) Clinical Anatomy - Knee

The medial (inner) compartment is an extremely significant part of the knee joint. Along with the lateral (outer) and patellofemoral (behind the kneecap) compartments, this area plays an influential role in your ability to do everyday activities like standing and walking. Many important structures are contained in this inner area.

The Medial Compartment of the Knee: Anatomy, Function, and Treatment (3)

Anatomy

The medial compartment of the knee includes everything within the inner half of the joint and is located where the tibia (shinbone) and femur (thigh bone) meet. The rounded end of the femur bone (medial femoral condyle) sits on a flattened area of the tibia bone called the medial tibial plateau.

In between the two bones lies a C-shaped piece of cartilage called the meniscus. Along with a similar section of the meniscus in the lateral compartment, this important structure helps absorb forces and spread them throughout the knee.

The ends of the femur and the tibia are also coated with a thin, shock-absorbing structure called articular cartilage.Both the meniscus and the articular cartilage provide crucial protection to the knee and allow the femur and tibia bones to smoothly slide on one another.

Surrounding the two bones is the joint capsule, which serves two purposes:

  • The firm outer membrane is fibrous in quality and adds further stability to the joint itself.
  • The inner synovial membrane produces a fluid called synovium (also known as joint fluid) that lubricates the area and helps the two bones slide effectively.

Muscles in the Medial Compartment

There are several different muscles that attach above or below the medial compartment of the knee. They include:

  • Adductor magnus muscle: This muscle runs along the side of the leg and inserts near a boney bump called the adductor tubercle on the medial femoral condyle.
  • Medial gastrocnemius muscle: This calf muscle travels up the lower leg from the Achilles tendon to a boney prominence below and slightly behind the adductor tubercle.
  • Vastus medialis oblique (VMO): One of the four quadriceps muscles, the VMO runs down the leg on the inner part of the thigh and eventually joins the quadriceps tendon to insert into the superomedial (top and inside) border of the kneecap.
  • Pes anserine bursa: On the anteromedial (front and inside) portion of the tibia, three muscles (from top to bottom: the sartorius, the gracilis, and the semitendinosus) insert one above the next and form the outer border of the pes anserine bursa. This fluid-filled sac separates the muscle tendons from the tibia bone and helps to reduce friction in the area.
  • Semimembranosus: One of the three hamstring muscles, this structure originates from just below the buttocks and runs down the back of the leg. It inserts below the knee joint on the posterior (back) and posteromedial (back and inside) portions of the tibia.

Ligaments in the Medial Compartment

Multiple stabilizing ligaments also are present in the medial compartment of the knee. They include:

  • Medial collateral ligament (MCL): The most prominent ligament in the medial compartment, this structure runs along the side of the knee from the medial femoral condyle to the tibia. It has both a superficial and a deep component, the deeper of which also inserts into the medial meniscus.
  • Medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL): This ligament originates on the medial femoral condyle (just in front of and slightly beneath the adductor tubercle) and inserts into the medial border of the patella.
  • Posterior oblique ligament (POL): This deeper ligament runs from just above the adductor tubercle on the medial femoral condyle to the posterior portion of the tibia.
  • Oblique popliteal ligament (OPL): This broad ligament spans from the adductor tubercle on the medial femoral condyle into multiple attachment locations including the semimembranosus tendon, the posteromedial tibia, the posteromedial joint capsule, and the posterior oblique ligament.

Function

Each of the anatomical structures in the medial compartment plays an important role:

  • The rounded end of the medial femoral condyle sits on the relatively flat tibial plateau, which allows the two bones to roll, slide, and rotate slightly on one another. As a result of these joint movements, the knee is able to fully bend and straighten as you move.
  • The meniscus helps improve the congruency of the joint and, along with the articular cartilage, assists in absorbing the stresses that are placed through the bones as you go about your day.
  • Each of the muscles attaching near the medial compartment helps move the knee in one or multiple directions.
  • The semimembranosus, semitendinosus, medial gastrocnemius, sartorius, and gracilis work to bend or flex the knee.
  • The VMO extends or straightens the joint.
  • The semimembranosus and semitendinosus assist with inward rotation and the gracilis and sartorius either inwardly or outwardly rotating the joint depending on the position of the leg.
  • The adductor magnus muscle helps to bring the entire leg closer to the midline of the body.

The ligaments and capsule add stability to the joint and help prevent excessive movement. The individual ligaments and function include:

  • Medial collateral ligament: This structure prevents inward buckling of the knee (called genu valgus) as well as the external or outward rotation of the tibia.
  • Posterior oblique ligament: This ligament protects against inward knee movement, particularly when the joint is fully extended. The POL also helps prevent excessive posterior sliding of the tibia on the femur.
  • Oblique popliteal ligament: This ligament stabilizes against excessive external rotation of the tibia and hyperextension of the knee.
  • Medial patellofemoral ligament: This ligament provides medial stability to the kneecap and helps prevent lateral patellar subluxation or dislocation.

Associated Conditions

Because of the plethora of structures in the medial compartment, there are multiple different conditions that can affect this area. These include:

  • Osteoarthritis (OA): This is more common on the inner knee because it is subjected to more of the forces associated with walking.
  • Meniscus tear: This condition can occur gradually as a result of wear and tear or can come on more acutely (usually after an injury involving twisting or cutting). Symptoms of this condition can include pain, restricted knee range of motion, swelling, catching or locking of the joint, and giving way of the leg.
  • Acute knee injury: While any of the structures may be affected, the most commonly injured is the MCL. Medial collateral ligament injuries typically occur following a twisting, pivoting, or cutting movement. Regardless of which muscle or ligament is affected, however, sprains and strains usually result in pain, swelling, pinpoint tenderness, and difficulty moving the knee. In more serious cases where a tear of the ligament or tendon occurs, the leg may become unstable or actually give way as you walk.

Treatment

Treatment options vary based on each situation but can include:

  • The RICE principle (Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation): This is common following a flare-up of pain in the medial knee or an injury to one of the structures in the area and is typically helpful in reducing some of the initial symptoms.
  • NSAIDs or acetaminophen: These may be taken to help alleviate the acute pain. In some cases, a cortisone injection is also administered to address the pain and swelling associated with a meniscal tear or an osteoarthritis aggravation.
  • Physical therapy: For most conditions—including OA, a medial meniscus tear, ligament sprains, and tendon strains—physical therapy (PT) is usually the first line of defense. Therapy can help restore flexibility in the joint and build up strength to support the damaged structure. PT can also assist in resolving any swelling that may be present.
  • Surgery: If therapy is unsuccessful or if a more severe meniscal, tendon, or ligament tear is present, surgical intervention may be necessary. In the case of a ligament tear, this typically involves reconstructing the structure with a graft from another area of the body or from a cadaver. Following a tendon tear, a surgical repair of the muscle may be necessary to restore stability in the joint. Medial meniscus tears are most frequently addressed with a partial meniscectomy, which involves arthroscopically removing the damaged portion of cartilage. In some cases, a meniscal repair may also be possible, though this is dependent on the size and location of the tear.
  • Partial or total knee replacement: In the case of advanced osteoarthritis, a partial or total knee replacement may need to be performed. This procedure involves removing the arthritic boney surfaces and replacing them with prosthetic components.

7 Sources

(Video) Medial Collateral Ligament Trephination in the treatment of Medial Compartment Pathology

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. The Foundation for the Advancement in Research in Medicine. About the knee joint.

  2. LaPrade RF, Engebretsen AH, Ly TV, Johansen S, Wentorf FA, Engebretsen L. The anatomy of the medial part of the knee. Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. 2007;89(9):2000–2010. doi:10.2106/JBJS.F.01176

  3. Wu X-D, Yu J-H, Zou T, et al. Anatomical characteristics and biomechanical properties of the oblique popliteal ligament. Science Reports. 2017;7. doi:10.1038/srep42698

  4. Krebs C, Tranovich M, Andrews K, Ebraheim N. The medial patellofemoral ligament: Review of the literature. Journal of Orthopaedics. 2018;15(2):596-599. doi:10.1016/j.jor.2018.05.004

  5. Jones RK, Chapman GJ, Findlow AH, et al. A new approach to prevention of knee osteoarthritis: reducing medial load in the contralateral knee. The Journal of Rheumatology. 2013;40(3):309-315. doi:10.3899/jrheum.120589

  6. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Meniscus tears.

  7. Michigan Medicine. Medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury.

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medial knee compartment anatomy

The medial compartment of the knee includes everything in the inner half of the joint and is located where the tibia (shinbone) and femur (thighbone) meet.. The rounded end of the femur (medial femoral condyle) is located in a flattened area of ​​the tibia called the medial tibial plateau.. Together with the similar meniscus section in the lateral compartment, this important structure helps absorb forces and distribute them throughout the knee.. Multiple stabilizing ligaments are also present in the medial compartment of the knee.. Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL): The most prominent ligament in the medial compartment, this structure extends along the side of the knee from the medial condyle of the femur to the tibia.. Posterior Oblique Ligament (POL): This deeper ligament extends from above the adductor tubercle on the medial condyle of the femur to the back of the tibia.. Oblique Popliteal Ligament (OPL): This broad ligament extends from the adductor tubercle on the medial femoral condyle to multiple attachment sites including the semimembranous tendon, posteromedial tibia, posteromedial joint capsule, and posterior oblique ligament.. Ligaments and joint capsules add stability to the joint and help prevent excessive movement.. Posterior Oblique Ligament: This ligament prevents inward movement of the knee joint, especially when the joint is fully extended.. The POL also helps prevent excessive backward sliding of the tibia over the femur.. Symptoms of this condition may include pain, limited range of motion in the knee joint, swelling, stuck or locked joints, and bent legs.. Treatment options vary for each condition, but may include:. In some cases, cortisone is also injected to address pain and swelling associated with a torn meniscus or worsening osteoarthritis.. After a tendon tear, surgical repair of the muscle may be necessary to restore the stability of the joint.. Medial meniscus tears are most often resolved by partial meniscectomy, which involves arthroscopic removal of the damaged portion of the cartilage.

The medial (inner) compartment is an extremely significant part of the knee joint. Along with the lateral (outer) and patellofemoral (behind the kneecap) compartments, this area plays an influential role in your ability to do everyday activities like standing and walking. Many important structures are contained in this inner area. > Anatomy The medial compartment ..Read more

The medial compartment of the knee includes everything within the inner half of the joint and is located where the tibia (shinbone) and femur (thigh bone) meet.. The rounded end of the femur bone (medial femoral condyle) sits on a flattened area of the tibia bone called the medial tibial plateau.. Multiple stabilizing ligaments also are present in the medial compartment of the knee.. Medial collateral ligament (MCL): The most prominent ligament in the medial compartment, this structure runs along the side of the knee from the medial femoral condyle to the tibia.. Medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL): This ligament originates on the medial femoral condyle (just in front of and slightly beneath the adductor tubercle) and inserts into the medial border of the patella.. Posterior oblique ligament (POL): This deeper ligament runs from just above the adductor tubercle on the medial femoral condyle to the posterior portion of the tibia.. Oblique popliteal ligament (OPL): This broad ligament spans from the adductor tubercle on the medial femoral condyle into multiple attachment locations including the semimembranosus tendon, the posteromedial tibia, the posteromedial joint capsule, and the posterior oblique ligament.. The ligaments and capsule add stability to the joint and help prevent excessive movement.. The POL also helps prevent excessive posterior sliding of the tibia on the femur.. Meniscus tear : This condition can occur gradually as a result of wear and tear or can come on more acutely (usually after an injury involving twisting or cutting).. In some cases, a cortisone injection is also administered to address the pain and swelling associated with a meniscal tear or an osteoarthritis aggravation.. Following a tendon tear, a surgical repair of the muscle may be necessary to restore stability in the joint.. Medial meniscus tears are most frequently addressed with a partial meniscectomy , which involves arthroscopically removing the damaged portion of cartilage.

medial knee compartment anatomy

The medial compartment of the knee includes everything in the inner half of the joint and is located where the tibia (shinbone) and femur (thighbone) meet.. The rounded end of the femur (medial femoral condyle) is located in a flattened area of ​​the tibia called the medial tibial plateau.. It is inserted under the knee joint on the posterior (back) and posteromedial (back and medial) portions of the tibia.. Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL): The most prominent ligament in the medial compartment, this structure extends along the side of the knee from the medial condyle of the femur to the tibia.. Medial Patellofemoral Ligament (MPFL): This ligament originates from the medial femoral condyle (just anterior and slightly below the adductor tubercle) and inserts into the medial edge of the patella.. Posterior Oblique Ligament (POL): This deeper ligament extends from above the adductor tubercle on the medial condyle of the femur to the back of the tibia.. Oblique Popliteal Ligament (OPL): This broad ligament extends from the adductor tubercle on the medial femoral condyle to multiple attachment sites including the semimembranous tendon, posteromedial tibia, posteromedial joint capsule, and posterior oblique ligament.. Medial Collateral Ligament: This structure prevents inward flexion of the knee joint (called valgus) and external or external rotation of the tibia.. Posterior Oblique Ligament: This ligament prevents inward movement of the knee joint, especially when the joint is fully extended.. Medial Patellofemoral Ligament: This ligament provides medial stability to the kneecap and helps prevent subluxation or dislocation of the lateral patella.. Symptoms of this condition may include pain, limited range of motion in the knee joint, swelling, stuck or locked joints, and bent legs.

The knee is the largest and most complex joint in the body, holding together the thigh bone, shin bone, fibula (on the outer side of the shin), and kneecap. It is also one of the joints that is most vulnerable to injury. In this article, we look at ways in which people can prevent and treat knee injuries.

The femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone), and patella (kneecap) make up the bones of the knee.. The knee joint keeps these bones in place.. The knee has four:. Knees are most often injured during sports activities, exercising, or as a result of a fall.. Pain and swelling, difficulty with weight bearing, and instability are the most common symptoms experienced with a knee injury.. The ACL and MCL are the ligaments most often injured.. Basic treatment for common knee injuries includes rest, ice, elevation, and an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Ibuprofen.. Additionally, short-term rest and avoiding putting weight on the leg may be necessary for proper healing.. The following tips may help prevent common knee injuries:. Additionally, keeping the supporting leg muscles strong and practicing injury prevention will help keep the knee healthy across the lifespan.

Medial compartmental osteoarthritis (OA) is a type of OA that affects only one part of the knee. Learn more about symptoms and ways to manage this condition.

There is no cure for OA, and symptoms usually worsen over time, but there are ways to manage it.. The symptoms of medial compartmental OA are similar to those of other types of OA of the knee.. Eventually, pain and a loss of mobility can start to affect your quality of life.. The symptoms of medial compartmental OA might be more easily managed than tricompartmental arthritis.. OA happens if that cartilage becomes damaged.. An X-ray may show damage to the knee joint or cartilage and will help determine whether OA affects multiple compartments or the medial compartmental only.. medication exercise weight loss, if appropriate. Other options that can help with mobility include:. If you are overweight, losing weight will reduce pressure on the knee joint.. Experts strongly recommend weight loss as a therapy for people with overweight who have OA.. They will replace the damaged compartment with a metal or plastic part, while preserving the healthy bone, cartilage, and ligaments.. There is no cure for medial or other types of OA, but a range of treatment options can help you manage it and reduce or delay the need for surgery.. Staying active and maintaining a healthy weight are crucial for managing medial compartmental OA.

The medial compartment of the knee includes everything within the inner half of the joint and is located where the tibia (shinboneshinboneThe tibia is the

15 related questions found Some of the most common causes of pain behind the knee ( posterior knee pain ) include, Baker's cyst, arthritis, infection, injury, tumor, or deep vein thrombosis.. While the MCL is the static stabilizer of the medial knee, the dynamic stabilizers of the medial knee are muscles: the semimembranosus complex, vastus medialis, and pes anserinus .. Knees with an ACL injury are more likely to develop medial compartment OA and meniscal tears likely due to the disproportionate load distribution in this compartment compared to the lateral compartment.. When thinking of the knee we divide it up into 3 compartments for the purposes of arthritis description – medial compartment (that part of the joint between the femur and tibia on the inside of the knee), the lateral compartment (between the femur and tibia on the outside of the knee) and the patellofemoral compartment .... The medial meniscus is on the inner side of the knee joint.. The medial patellofemoral ligament is a part of the complex network of soft tissues that stabilize the knee .. The medial meniscus is more vulnerable to injury to due to its intimate attachment to the medial collateral ligament .. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is a wide, thick band of tissue that runs down the inner part of the knee from the thighbone (femur) to a point on the shinbone (tibia) about 4 to 6 inches from the knee.

See the pictures and anatomy description of knee joint bones, cartilage, ligaments, muscle and tendons with resources for knee problems & injuries.

The knee joint is a synovial joint which connects the femur (thigh bone), the longest bone in the body, to the tibia (shin bone).. There are two main joints in the knee: 1) the tibiofemoral joint where the tibia meet the femur 2) the patellofemoral joint where the kneecap (or patella) meets the femur.. Again, the knee joint is a hinge type joint.. Importantly, it serves as an attachment for muscles like the biceps femoris (one of the hamstring muscles), lateral collateral ligament (see below), and also helps to form the ankle joint.. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) – attaches the tibia and the femur.. For instance, the medial and lateral meniscus (discussed below) are made up of fibrocartilage which make them strong and rubbery and able to add additional stability to the knee.. On the other hand, like bones of most joints, the end of the femur and tibia and the undersurface of the patella are covered in hyaline cartilage.. If this articular cartilage wears away, joint movement can become painful and limited (this is known as arthritis).. It is attached to the tibia as well as to the joint capsule of the knee.. This lies on the front of the knee and connects the quadriceps muscles of the thigh to the tibia via the patella and patellar ligament (or tendon).. There are bursa located underneath the tendons and ligaments on both the lateral and medial sides of the knee.

Muscle of medial compartment of the thigh are the the hip adductors such as the adductor longus, adductor brevis, adductor Magnus.....

These muscles include the adductor longus, adductor brevis, adductor Magnus, gracilis, and pectineus.. The majority of hip adductor muscles are innervated by the obturator nerve (L2 to L4) and supplied by blood mainly via the branches of the femoral arteries and obturator arteries.. Nerve supply The nerve supply of the Adductor longus muscle is the Anterior division of the obturator nerve. Blood supply The blood supply of the adductor longus comes from two arteries, the profunda femoris artery (a branch of the femoral artery) and the obturator artery (a branch of the internal iliac artery).The proximal part of the Adductor longus muscle is supplied by the medial circumflex artery (branch of the profunda femoris artery).. The Adductor brevis muscle lies behind the pectineus and the adductor longus muscle. Nerve supply The nerve supply of The Adductor brevis muscle is the Anterior or posterior division of the obturator nerve. Blood supply The blood supply of the adductor brevis muscle typically comes from the deep femoral artery (profunda femoris) and from its branch called the artery for the adductors.. Nerve supply Double nerve supply: Adductor part by posterior division of obturator nerve andHamstring part by tibial part of the sciatic nerve. Blood supply The blood supply of the adductor Magnus’s muscles is the perforating branches of the deep femoral artery, passing through its oseo-aponeurotic openings.. Blood supply the superficial part of the Pectineus muscle supplied by the medial circumflex femoral artery and the deep part of the Pectineus muscle supplied by the anterior branch of the obturator artery. Wide stance squatStanding banded adduction Start by wrapping a resistance band around a solid anchor such as a power rack or another piece of equipment that is attached to the ground.Standing with either side of your body facing the anchor point, wrap the band around your inner foot.Adjust the tension of the resistance band by standing farther away from the anchor point or wrapping the resistance band more tightly.Allow the resistance band to pull your leg to the side while resisting the movement.To start the exercise, stand straight and bring your banded leg toward the center of your body, feeling a good contraction in your adductors.Gently release your leg back to the side, with control.Repeat for 10 to 12 repetitions for 2 to 3 sets.

An overview of the anatomy of the knee joint including bony articulations, ligaments, menisci, arterial supply, innervation and relevant muscles.

It is made up of two joints, the tibiofemoral joint (between the tibia and the femur), and the patellofemoral joint (between the patella and the femur).. These muscles are split into the anterior , medial and posterior compartments of the thigh and each compartment is responsible for a different movement at the knee joint.. The knee joint is a compound joint , consisting of two different articulation points that combine to form the joint.. Cruciate ligaments of the knee joint Medial collateral ligament (MCL) The MCL, also known as the tibial collateral ligament, runs from the medial epicondyle of the femur and inserts onto the medial condyle of the tibia.. Collateral ligaments of the knee joint The knee is surrounded by a series of bursae which act to reduce friction within the joint.. The largest bursae in the knee joint is the suprapatellar bursa, located above the patella between the femur and the quadriceps femoris muscle.. There are also four smaller bursae located in the posterior knee which function to reduce friction between the joint capsule, ligaments and tendons of several muscles in the leg (gastrocnemius, biceps femoris, popliteus).. The medial compartment of the thigh contains six muscles, however only the gracilis muscle acts on the knee joint (the rest all act on the hip).

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The soft tissue in the knee joint (tendons, ligaments, menisci, cartilage) that provides stability in the knee and hold the bones together at the joint.. Bones embedded in tendons are called sesamoid bones and they protect the tendons and improve the function of the joint by holding the tendons away from the center of the joint.. Ligaments are strong, elastic-like tissues that connect bone to bone and provide stability and protection to your knee joint by limiting the forward and backward movement of the shin bone.. The menisci are crescent shaped wedges located in the knee joint at the bottom of your thigh bone and on top of the flat upper surface of your shin bone.. The menisci help distribute the weight of your body across your knee joint , lubricate and protect the articular cartilage from damages from wear and tear, stabilize your knee when you slide and turn, and limit extreme knee flexion and extension.. There are 2 menisci - the lateral meniscus (located on the outside of your knee) and the medial meniscus (located on the inside of your knee).. It helps the ACL and MCL stabilize your knee, absorbing up to 50% of the load applied to the inside of the knee.. In amongst the bones, tendons, and ligaments rest bursa sacs that function as cushions to reduce friction and allow your soft tissue to slide easily and comfortably within your knee.. This is a condition called bursitis.. Articular cartilage , also known as hyaline cartilage, is a type of slick, hard, bone-like, flexible connective tissue that covers the surface ends of the tibia and femur at your knee joint, reducing friction and allowing the bones to move easily against one another.

Understanding the parts of the knee joint and how knee anatomy works can be the most important step in preventing knee injuries and reducing knee pain.

The patella moves on the front part of the femur when the leg bends.. There are actually two joints in the knee.. A diagram showing the bones in and around the knee joint The ends of the bones, or spots where the bones in the knee joint move against each other, are the most likely to suffer damage such as arthritis .. A diagram showing the medial, lateral and patellofemoral compartments of the knee joint The ends of the knees joints are covered with cartilage, the spongy tissue that also makes up body parts like the ears and nose.. Joint or articular cartilage covers the bones of the knee, making movement smooth and friction free.. A diagram showing knee cartilage and meniscus It’s easy to remember how ligaments work if you picture them as strong rubber bands that help to hold the bones together and limit motion in any direction.. There are four ligaments in the knee joint:. Major muscle groups that work with the knee joint include the quadriceps, which are in the front part of the thigh and connect to the patella or kneecap.. Fat covers the patella to provide even more of a cushion.. Blood vessels carry nutrients to and from the knee, and nerves provide signals between the knee and the brain.

The muscles of the thigh subdivide into three compartments: the anterior compartment, medial compartment, and posterior compartment. The function of the anterior compartment muscles is to extend the lower limb at the knee joint. The anterior compartment has its particular innervation and circulation unique to this compartment. The innervation of the anterior compartment of the thigh is from the femoral nerve (L2 through L4).   

The muscles of the thigh subdivide into three compartments: the anterior compartment, medial compartment, and posterior compartment.. Three major muscles (actually, two muscles and one muscle group) comprise the anterior compartment of the thigh — the pectineus , sartorius, and quadriceps femoris.. The quadriceps femoris is a group of four muscles: vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, and the rectus femoris.. The femoral nerve innervates the sartorius, pectineus, quadriceps femoris, and iliacus muscle of the iliopsoas.. The pectineus is considered a transitional muscle between the anterior thigh and medial thigh; this is due to innervation mainly from the femoral nerve and also sometimes from the obturator nerve.

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