- The Latin word for the knee. When the knee is referred to in medicine, it is just called the knee. However, the word "genu" is also used in medicine as in: genu recurvatum (hyperextension of the knee), genu valgum (knock knee) and genu varum (bowleg). The knee (or genu, if you are into Latin) is a joint which has three parts. The thigh bone (femur) meets the large shin bone (tibia) forming the main knee joint. This joint has an inner (medial) and an outer (lateral) compartment. The kneecap (patella) joins the femur to form a third joint, called the patellofemoral joint. The knee joint is surrounded by a joint capsule with ligaments strapping the inside and outside of the joint (collateral ligaments) as well as crossing within the joint (cruciate ligaments). These ligaments provide stability and strength to the knee joint. The meniscus is a thickened cartilage pad between the two joints formed by the femur and tibia. The meniscus acts as a smooth surface for the joint to move on. The knee joint is surrounded by fluid-filled sacs called bursae, which serve as gliding surfaces that reduce friction of the tendons. Below the kneecap, there is a large tendon (patellar tendon) which attaches to the front of the tibia bone. There are large blood vessels passing through the area behind the knee (referred to as the popliteal space). The large muscles of the thigh move the knee. In the front of the thigh the quadriceps muscles extend the knee joint. In the back of the thigh, the hamstring muscles flex the knee. The knee also rotates slightly under guidance of specific muscles of the thigh. The knee functions to allow movement of the leg and is critical to normal walking. The knee flexes normally to a maximum of 135 degrees and extends to 0 degrees. The bursae, or fluid-filled sacs, serve as gliding surfaces for the tendons to reduce the force of friction as these tendons move. The knee is a weightbearing joint. Each meniscus serves to evenly load the surface during weight- bearing and also adds in disbursing joint fluid for joint lubrication.
* * *1. The place of articulation between the thigh and the leg. SYN: knee (1) [TA]. SEE ALSO: knee joint, geniculum. 2. Any structure of angular shape resembling a flexed knee. [L.]- g. of corpus callosum [TA] the anterior extremity of the corpus callosum that folds downward and backward on itself, terminating in the rostrum. SYN: g. corporis callosi [TA].- g. of facial nerve [TA] the curve which the fibers of the root of the facial nerve describe around the abducens nucleus in the pontine tegmentum; the internal g. of the facial nerve. SYN: g. nervi facialis [TA].- g. of internal capsule [TA] the obtuse angle, opening laterally in the horizontal plane, formed by the union of the two limbs (crus anterius and crus posterius) of the internal capsule. SYN: g. capsulae internae [TA].- g. recurvatum hyperextension of the knee, the lower extremity having a forward curvature. SYN: back-knee.- g. valgum a deformity marked by lateral angulation of the leg in relation to the thigh. SYN: knock-knee, tibia valga.- g. varum a deformity marked by medial angulation of the leg in relation to the thigh; an outward bowing of the legs. SYN: bandy-leg, bowleg, bow-leg, tibia vara.
* * *ge·nu 'jē-.nü, 'jen-(y)ü n, pl gen·ua 'jen-yə-wə an abrupt flexure esp the bend in the anterior part of the corpus callosum see GENU VALGUM, GENU VARUM
* * *n.1. the knee.2. any bent anatomical structure resembling the knee.• genual adj.
* * *ge·nu (jeґnu) gen. geґnus pl. geґnua [L.] 1. [TA] the knee; the site of articulation between the thigh (femur) and leg. 2. a general term used to designate any anatomic structure bent like the knee.
Medical dictionary. 2011.