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Stability to the knee joint [Figure 17.5A (AP view), Figure 17.5B (medial view), and Figure 17.6 (posterior view)] is provided by the shapes of the articular surfaces of the bones of the knee, intrinsic and extrinsic ligaments, menisci and strength and tone of the muscles that cross the joint. Anteriorly, the quadriceps femoris muscle function in stabilizing the knee. The distal portions of the quadriceps femoris muscle, especially the vastus medialis muscle and vastus lateralis muscle, attach to the superior border of the patella. The aponeurotic extensions of these muscles fuse with the crural fascia to form a tendinous expansion (also called the medial and lateral patellar retinaculum) on the medial and lateral borders of the patella. As these aponeurotic bands pass distally, they join the articular capsule and insert on the condyles of the tibia.
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