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The Knee Muscles

Muscles Around the Knee

  • Quadriceps femoris muscles—a large muscle group on the front of the thigh.
    • Vastus lateralis—part of the quadriceps femoris on the outside-front of the thigh, it extends or straightens the leg and is controlled by the femoral nerve.
    • Vastus intermedius—part of the quadriceps femoris on the center-front of the thigh, it extends or straightens the leg and is controlled by the femoral nerve.
    • Vastus medialis—part of the quadriceps femoris on the inside-front of the thigh, it extends or straightens the leg and is controlled by the femoral nerve. Plays a part in stabilizing the knee cap.
    • Rectus femoris—on the front middle of the thigh and covers the other three quad muscles. As a extensor muscle it straightens the leg allowing us to walk, run, jump and squat. It also is a flexor muscle that bends the hip.
  • Sartorious
  • Biceps femoris
  • Gastrocnemius—a long superficial muscle along the back of the leg (calf). There are two heads, one along the outside (lateral) of the head and condole of the femur and the other along the medial popliteal surface of the femur. Both heads attach with the Achilles tendon to the back of the heel bone (calcaneus). The gastrocnemius flexes the ankle, the knee and allows you to stand on your tiptoes. It is controlled by the tibial nerve (S1, S2)
  • Peroneus longus (fibularis longus)—runs along the outside of the leg and bends the foot outward at the ankle.
  • Extensor digitorum longus
  • Tibialis anterior—it dorsiflexes (upward movement of your foot that brings your toes closer to your shin) and inverts the foot, supports the arch, and is controlled by the deep peroneal nerve.

Images of Muscles Around the Knee

Muscles Around the Knee Front (anterior) View

Muscles of the knee

Muscles Around the Knee

Muscles Around the Knee Inside (medial) View

Muscles Around the Knee Medial View

Muscles Around the Knee Medial (Inside) View

Normal Knee Anatomy

Comments

  1. David Cheang says:

    I can’t bend my right knees.

  2. Frank Kwader says:

    My knee is swollen and swelling on outside of lower leg. I laid my motorcycle down on it in gravel. When sitting I have extreme pain trying to lift my foot up. The pain runs along the shin bone halfway up my lower leg to base of knee. Caps ok , no pain, maybe a little click bottom of knee cap at base.
    Any ideas ? Thanks, Frank

  3. Cindy Schmidler says:

    Hi, Dionnie! Thanks for reaching out to us with your question. Was the pain a result of physical injury or trauma? Your primary-care doctor should be the first specialist you visit to consult regarding your concern. If they find any potential issues, they will refer you to a partner consultant in the appropriate field of specialization. Hope this helps!

  4. My muscle below the side of my knee is very painful, where do i go for treatment. Pls. Help.

  5. Jackie Woochang says:

    I think your knee is broke!

  6. Huma sheikh says:

    hi
    This is Huma sheikh
    My knee is very stiff and very pain full
    My full leg is v painfull
    Vcoz wanes ,scatica pain,,knee pain
    Leg lower side pain
    I already treatment ,,
    Eccupresher treatment
    Plz reply ,

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