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Edward Phillips, Physical Therapy, answeredThe largest joint in the body is the knee. It acts as a hinge that allows your lower leg and foot to swing easily forward or back as you walk, run, or kick. A healthy knee allows almost 150 degrees of movement. But unlike a simple hinge like one on a jewelry box, for example, in which any wobble is undesirable, the knee slightly rotates and moves from side to side, as well. To form the joint, knuckles at the lower end of the thighbone (femur) fit smoothly into dimples in the upper end of the shin bone (tibia) cushioned by layers of cartilage called menisci. A quartet of ligaments knit the bones together: a pair of stretchy cruciate ligaments in the interior, and a pair of collateral ligaments on the outer sides of the joint. The kneecap (patella) covers the front of the joint. A large connecting tendon bridges the shin, kneecap, and the large four-part muscle at the front of the thigh called the quadriceps.