Anatomy of the knee (MRI) - atlas of the human body using cross-sectional imaging



Antoine Micheau, MD , Denis Hoa, MD

Published on

Wednesday 12 April 2017



Anatomical parts

This atlas of cross sectional anatomy of the knee is based on imagery by magnetic resonance (MRI). Each anatomical structure is labelled interactively. This tool is at the same time useful for the training and teaching of the anatomy, but also for experts to illustrate a course or an explanation of a pathology to a patient, in particular within the framework of the ruptures of the cross ligaments or the lesions of the meniscuses.

This software is open and free to anyone curious about anatomy, but it was particularly conceived for radiologists, rheumatologists, orthopaedic surgeons, general practitioners, and medical students (assistance with the preparation of medical boards), and radiology technicians.


Atlas of anatomy of the whole human body : anatomy of the knee adapted from medical imaging (MRI : Magnetic Resonance Imaging)


Cross-sectional anatomy: MRI of the knee


An MRI of the knee of a healthy subject was performed in the 3 planes of space (coronal, axial, sagittal) commonly used in osteoarticular imagery, with two weightings most commonly used to explore the musculo-skeletal pathology of the knee: spin-echo T1 and proton-density with fat saturation sequences.


Cross sectional anatomy of the knee based on MRI : articular surface of patella and femur, condyle, epicondyle and muscles (popliteus, sartorius, gastrocnemius, semimembranous with tendos...)


The images obtained were exported to JPEG from DICOM data stored on the PACS (Picture Archiving and Communicating System).
The images were post-processed with Adobe Photoshop (realignment, reduction of size in order to adapt to the electronic format).
The interactive and dynamic contents were added with Adobe Flash.


Sagittal cross section of the knee : anatomy of the posterior and anterior cruciate ligaments, infrapateallar fat pad, patellar ligament, muscles, nerves and arteries of the popliteal fossa.


Illustrations: 3D osseous model of the knee


We added 3D illustrations of the bones of the knee (femur, tibia, fibula (peroneal) and patella (kneecap)) which we then labelled. They were created by volume rendering from a CT-scan of the knee. These illustrations allow basic anatomical recalls in anatomy of the knee and make it possible to be located more easily on an MRI by using the osseous cross-references.


Anatomy of the ankle and foot in MRI: posting of the anatomical legends

  • The “anatomical structures” menu allows the user to visualize only the labels of interest:
    •  Bones
    •  Articulations
    •  Ligaments
    •  Muscles
    •  Tendons
    •  Fascia
    •  Arteries
    •  Veins
    •  Nerves

Anatomy of the knee on a coronal slice (MRI) : meniscus (lateral and medial), cruciate ligaments, vastus (lateralis, intermedius, medialis), tibial and fibular collateral ligaments.


The “weightings” menu makes it possible to choose the type of MRI sequence to be viewed: spin-echo T1 or proton-density with fat saturation sequences.
The “plans” menu allows the use to choose the visualization of the knee in one of the 3 planes of space: axial, coronal or sagittal and to access the osseous 3D volume renderings.
The left side menu provides cross-references to help for a better orientation in space for the user. This one moreover is facilitated by a medical illustration of the osseous skeleton based on a 3D illustration by volume rendering.


3D pictures of the knee : anterior view showing the anatomy of the patella, femur, tibia, fibula and femorotibial joint.

Download e-Anatomy

Mobile and tablet users, you can download e-Anatomy on Appstore or GooglePlay.

e-Anatomy on Appstore e-Anatomy on Googleplay