Joint Structure

Joints, such as the knee, are often subjected to a great deal of pressure and stress, but their structure is well suited to meet these demands. As in all movable joints, the parts of the bones that come in contact with each other are covered with cartilage, which protects the bones' surface from friction. Tough bands of connective tissue, called ligaments, hold the bones of the joint in place. The surfaces of the joints that are subjected to a great deal of pressure are lined with tissue that secretes a lubricating substance called synovial (sih-NOH-vee-uhl) fluid. Synovial fluid helps protect the ends of bones from damage by friction.

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