SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Normal knee. Side-view X-ray of a healthy knee of a 15-year-old girl. This X-ray shows the bones that meet at the knee. The large bone at the top is the femur (thigh bone). The small bone to the left of this is the patella, or kneecap. Below the femur is the tibia (shin bone), and running next to this is the smaller fibula (lower right). The spike of bone at the top of the tibia moves through a groove (not seen) in the femur when the knee is bent. This arrangement makes the joint work like a hinge, allowing to and fro movement only (although slight rotation can occur when the knee is bent).
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