Before we discuss your procedure, it is important for you to understand how a healthy knee functions. The knee is a joint that allows you to bend and extend your leg. It makes it easier for you to sit, walk and run.
The bones that make up the knee are the femur, or the thighbone, the tibia, which is the shinbone, and the patella, which is your kneecap. Ligaments, which are bands of tough fibers, hold these bones together and allow for motion. Inside the knee, two ligaments hold the thighbone to the shinbone.
Two types of cartilage are present in the knee joint. The first type of cartilage is articular cartilage. This cartilage covers the ends of the bones and provides a smooth gliding surface.
The second type of cartilage is the meniscal cartilage, which are two C-shaped pieces of cartilage that sit between the thighbone and shinbone. There is one on each side of the knee joint. The menisci act as shock absorbers between the shinbone and thighbone.
To lubricate the knee, a lining of tissue inside the joint, called the synovium, produces a lubricating fluid. The knee joint is surrounded by a joint capsule, which attaches to each side of the joint and helps keep the lubricating fluid inside.
There are also muscles, ligaments, and tendons outside of the knee joint that function to stabilize the knee and allow active movement.