Understanding Our bones and Joints.
Various bones are connected to each other with the help of Joints. Joints render many types of relative movement to the bones. And according to the type of motion they offer, joints are of numerous types. Despite of existence of many types of joints, their basic construction, more or less remains the same. The principle elements which unite in construction of joints are: Bones, Cartilage, Synovial membrane and Ligaments.
Let us take a look at the inside of the knee as one of the most important joint :-
Bones: Bones are the principle element forming the joint which survive with their own blood vessels and collapse and die if enough blood supply is not given to them.
Cartilage: The joint ends of the Bones are coated with a thin and flexible layer called cartilage. Its main purpose is to provide a cushioning against every type of shock and activities on the body for e.g. running, playing, Jumping, fighting , playing sports etc. It also prevents the bones to rub against each other, by providing a protective covering to them. Unfortunately complete damage to cartilage cannot be repaired and one has to go for a surgical intervention to fix the problem.
Synovial Membrane: A very delicate connective tissue, lining the capsules of the Joints is called Synovial Membrane. It also provides a covering to Ligaments . Joint oil called Synovia, is secreted from this membrane. This thick oil helps the smooth functioning of the Joint.
Ligaments: These are generally the bands or bundles of tissues, with which the bones are held together. Ligaments are very similar to cables, used for connecting storage devices with the motherboard of computers. Ligaments prevent the bones from getting dislocated and provide a controlled movement to the joint
Besides these elements, there are muscles, which provide a great help in maintaining the joint surfaces in proper relation. The hinge joint with the meniscus in the knees works to provide movement for the femur (thigh bone) and tibia/fibula (shin) so they move in tandem.
Another important component in proper functioning of the joints is the pressure of the outside air. That is why, the hip joints are so completely surrounded by the ligaments that joint becomes
completely airtight. Any damage to this protective covering will reduce the air pressure affecting the health of bones.