Tibiofemoral movement 1: the shapes and relative movements of the femur and tibia in the unloaded cadaver knee.J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2000 Nov; 82(8):1189-95.JB
In six unloaded cadaver knees we used MRI to determine the shapes of the articular surfaces and their relative movements. These were confirmed by dissection. Medially, the femoral condyle in sagittal section is composed of the arcs of two circles and that of the tibia of two angled flats. The anterior facets articulate in extension. At about 20 degrees the femur 'rocks' to articulate through the posterior facets. The medial femoral condyle does not move anteroposteriorly with flexion to 110 degrees. Laterally, the femoral condyle is composed entirely, or almost entirely, of a single circular facet similar in radius and arc to the posterior medial facet. The tibia is roughly flat. The femur tends to roll backwards with flexion. The combination during flexion of no anteroposterior movement medially (i.e., sliding) and backward rolling (combined with sliding) laterally equates to internal rotation of the tibia around a medial axis with flexion. About 5 degrees of this rotation may be obligatory from 0 degrees to 10 degrees flexion; thereafter little rotation occurs to at least 45 degrees. Total rotation at 110 degrees is about 20 degrees, most if not all of which can be suppressed by applying external rotation to the tibia at 90 degrees.