Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Incredible Knee

The knees are a marvel of engineering. They are the largest and most complex joints in the human body.

We usually take the knee joints for granted, however without them our legs would be almost useless logs. Walking, running, sitting down and so on would be impossible without the knees.

The knee is essentially made up of four bones. The femur, which is the large bone in your thigh, attaches by ligaments and a capsule to your tibia. Just below and next to the tibia is the fibula, which runs parallel to the tibia. The patella, or what we call the knee cap, rides on the knee joint as the knee bends.

When the knee moves, it does not just bend and straighten, or, as it is medically termed, flex and extend. There is also a slight rotational component in this motion. This component was recognized only within the last 50 years. The knee muscles which go across the knee joint are the quadriceps and the hamstrings. The quadriceps muscles are on the front of the knee, and the hamstrings are on the back of the knee. The ligaments are equally important in the knee joint because they hold the joint together. In review, the bones support the knee and provide the rigid structure of the joint, the muscles move the joint, and the ligaments stabilize the joint.

The knee joint also has a structure made of cartilage, which is called the meniscus or meniscal cartilage. The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of tissue which fits into the joint between the tibia and the femur. It helps to protect the joint and allows the bones to slide freely on each other. There are also bursae around the knee joint. A bursa is a little fluid sac that helps the muscles and tendons slide freely as the knee moves.

As an avid runner (about 20 miles per week), I'm very conscious of the need to care for the knees and not to over strain them. With sensible and proper care, the knee joints should give a lifetime of faithful service.

Unfortunately, in some cases the knees become badly damaged, usually by some form of arthritis. Obesity is an important risk factor. Starting about 40 years ago, doctors began having some success replacing the knee with an artificial joint made of plastic, ceramic and metal. A knee replacement costs about $35,000. The artificial knee may last up to 20 years. However it has limitations; running for example is not recommended. The less the artificial joint is used, the longer it will last. No matter how great modern technology is, it cannot replace the complexity of the natural knee joint. The replacement is not a normal knee.

Those of us who still have healthy, functioning knees should be filled with gratitude and love for our Creator and each morning fervently recite the prayer "Blessed is He who makes firm the steps of man" (Talmud Tractate Berakoth 60b)


GodHatesYou said...

"Those of us who still have healthy, functioning knees should be filled with gratitude and love for our Creator and each morning fervently recite the prayer "Blessed is He who makes firm the steps of man" (Talmud Tractate Berakoth 60b)"

I used to have healthy functioning knees. Then God hurt me bad after after a truck carrying 2 tons of goodwill used clothing crashed into my skateboard and my life turned upside down and everything went nuts for me. But with help of a good friend who taught me that sometime god will do things to teach us a leason in life. The lesson I learned was that God hated me for some unknown reason. My friend showed me how to curse God for what he did to me. I learned how to potently curse God. And you know what? Every time I blaspheme against God's presence, my knees feel a lot better. It might be Satan's calling or it might be just a placibo but it sure works.
You know, sometimes no matter how bad things might seem, there is always someone who got it worse from God. All I can say is that if you embrace Satan, his healing balm will work for you as it worked for me.
Here I am 42 and God has banged my body up, but there is hope in cursing God out of your life. Just repeat, seven times every morning, afternoon and evening.

God says "jump," some jump.
Many others ask "how high?"
The bravest ask: "why?"

jewish philosopher said...

Your friend didn't study enough Talmud. The Talmud teaches us "one must receive the evil with gladness". It is all for our good. Berakoth 60b

Thank God you are suffering! It's all kindness!

Anonymous said...

You previously said that "Anyone who dies was destined to die by God's will. However that does not exempt the murderer."

Let's examine this oft-made assertion about human suffering.

1. It's intuitively repulsive. To say that millions of people around the globe who suffer or die from natural causes were "destined" to suffer by a living and intervening god is morally repugnant. If you have a pantheistic view of god, that is another matter. But this is an emotional argument, so let's set this aside for a moment.

2. It minimizes or completely negates the call for human intervention to revent suffering. If its god's will, why bother? In fact, it would seem that by improving medical care or other safety procedures, we are going against god's will.

3. If the person is destined to die, why punish the criminal? Why distiniguish between accidental and intentional killing? That makes no more sense than your argument against atheists punishing criminals who have no culpability by virtue of them being "souless". By your theory we are just robots.

4. This metaphysical idea is a theory that can be neither proven or disproven, and adds an unnecessary layer of complication to understanding the world (Occam's razor)

5. This theory implies that suffering for which there is no apparent reason, does in fact serve some divine purpose or grand plan. This plan is unknowable to humans. OK, but his makes humans mere pawns in some grand scheme. In that case, what importance is there to human morality, choices, and actions? Everything is part of some grand but unknowable plan, in which human moral instinct has no part, so why should there by any punishment or reward, other than for social control? Since its unknowable, no lessen can ever be learned, no new understanding can be reached. How can we then strive to be "Godly"?

jewish philosopher said...

"It's intuitively repulsive."

Argument from incredulity, a logical fallacy.

"If its god's will, why bother?"

Because God commands us to bother.

"neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of thy neighbour" Leviticus 19:16

"If the person is destined to die, why punish the criminal?"

Because he chose to be God's instrument of destruction.

"This metaphysical idea is a theory that can be neither proven or disproven"

It is proven by the Talmudic tradition, which is shown to be valid by nature and history.

"what importance is there to human morality, choices, and actions?"

Our choice decides our fate.

"I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore choose life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed" Deut. 30:19

Mahla said...

When I was running every day, I really messed my knees up, but they're fully healed now. I read about people who run ultra-marathons and even people who recommend running barefoot and wonder how they do it! Gosh I wish I could get back into my running.

This may sound like a crazy question, Jewish Philosopher. But since you are a runner & a person of strong religious faith who is talking about how well the human body is made, have you ever read about people running barefoot?

You'd think more religious people would promote barefoot running. (Supposedly running on the natural foot is healthier?)

jewish philosopher said...

From what I've read, good running shoes are very important to healthy knees. I've never heard of people purposely running barefoot.

Also, by the way, I think the orthoprax rabbi blog is a hoax since if drop outs from judaism blog, it's usually to vent their anger. The feel guilty and this makes them angry. Blogging helps them find support. This blogger doesn't seem angry at all. He's perfectly calm, as if explaining why he chose to switch from playing baseball to soccer, let's say.

Which part of the world do you live in?

Mahla said...

Jewish Philosopher, I have dual citizenship with Iran, where I was born; however I have been living in the U.S. since I was 9 months old. :^) So I'm not living anywhere that people are running about barefoot, if that's what you were wondering. ;^D

Presently I'm in Eugene Oregon and if I tried to run barefoot my feet would get filthy and quite possibly cut up with broken glass! But my friend / coworker constantly extols the whole "it's natural and better to run barefoot" type of running.

However, ironically, he is an atheist, so his "it's better to run barefoot" theories do not arise from a belief in intelligent design. He believes that people were 'designed' to run barefoot, but by, you know, a long-standing evolutionary process, and not an intelligent Creator.

Thank you very much for your opinions, as a frum Jew, about the Orthoprax Rabbi. The two most convincing arguments I have heard for his being a hoax are yours (that he is not angry enough to be genuine; I liked your suggestion to read to compare) & then also that his Torah education does not seem comprehensive enough.

I am not convinced he is a hoax, but part of me thinks that is because I am not Jewish and so I am not picking up on clues and omissions that educated Jews are attuned to. :^O

jewish philosopher said...

I'm glad that you enjoy my blog; some of my biggest fans are not Jewish. Judaism and Islam are similar in many ways. Although as a Jew I am not allowed to hit my wife.

Mahla said...

What a tragedy! ;^D I'm sure she's a nice lady and doesn't deserve to be beaten. :^) Not that anyone does. :^)

jewish philosopher said...

It's hard to be a Jew.

Seriously, the main problem I have with Islam is the violence. As an ultra-orthodox Jew, I am not a Zionist and am almost a pacifist. I believe in self defense. I do sometimes slap my children's wrists. But the idea of using violence to constantly resolve conflicts is abhorrent to me.

Does your husband hit you?

Are you a university student? You sound very intelligent.

Mahla said...

Oh my gosh! I really should not pass this on, but I will.

ME: "So, the Jewish Philosopher is totally asking if you hit me." RYAN: "You should tell him YES, and that's the only way you know I love you." :^O ME: "Oh my gosh, that is HORRIBLE and I am NOT going to say ANYTHING LIKE that!"

No, he totally doesn't hit me. ;^D

But, as I say, I'm presently agnostic & not Muslim (even though I was technically born Muslim; it's a patrilineal thing). And also, Ryan is even ~less~ Muslim than me; I am reluctant to tell you exactly how MUCH less religious he is, because I know you dislike atheists enormously; at least, that is the impression I have gotten. :^)

No, I am not a university student. I am 29 years old & ditched a full university scholarship about one decade ago for entirely regrettable reasons. :^) Namely, a guy. He, also, was not Muslim. But he still sucked!

Thanks so very much for stating that I sound intelligent, JP. :^) If I were to go back to school today, I would major either in graphic art or comparative religion. :^)

Anonymous said...

Mahla, don't be too taken in by JP's charms. A casual parusal of his previous posts and comments do not reflect a kind or enlightened man.

Anonymous said...

"Because he chose to be God's instrument of destruction."

This contradicts the Bible.

Why should "God's instrument of destruction" be punished? For example, Pinchas was rewarded for murdering. And Able, as far as we can tell, was not deserving of death, yet god permitted Cain to murder him. Same with David and Bat Sheva's husband. Nowhere does it imply that Cain or David were an "instrument of destruction".

People are either innocent or guilty. If they are innocent they are not deserving of death, therefore the murderer is punished. If the victim is deserving of death, the executioner is only doing god's will and is not punished.

I don't know where you get your theology. You connect together many unrelated rabbinic sayings and biblical verses into an incoherent and illogical metaphysical theory.

jewish philosopher said...

"Pinchas was rewarded for murdering"

It wasn't murder. The person he killed wasn't innocent. There are instances where God wants us to kill and this was one of them.

David and Cain were punished.

There are situations where God sanctions or commands the use of violence, although few and far between. The main example in modern times would be self defense. In that case the killer is rewarded.

However in all other cases, violence is prohibited, even though the victim might have been deserving of divine punishment.

"Moreover he saw a skull floating on the surface of the water and he said unto it: Because you drowned others they drowned you; and those that drowned you will eventually be drowned."

Pirkei Avot 2:7

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susan said...

I do not know any Jews except Messianic Jews and they are wonderful. I am a Christian and very proud that I have turned my life over and follow Jesus's teachings. I know that not everyone believes and we each have our rights to belive or not. I cannot say I just believe I will say I KNOW that God created this earth, man and everything in it. The things in this world are much too complicated to have evolved from something. Look at the knee, it is a miracle, the same as the heart, the eyes, the brain. Look at the seasons, summer and spring, how awesome that the plants and trees know when to bloom, that we plant a small seed and we get vegatables to feed our families and each vegetable knows how they are to grow, above the ground or below such as carrots and potatoes. Ever see a tomatoe grow underground? God created all this and He is in control of all this. He also sesnt His Son to suffer and die on an old rugged cross and to be resurrected 3 days later so that sinners like you and I could come to Him and ask foregivenss for our sins and He can forgive us. Sns are ONLY forgiven through the Blood of Jesus Christ. The Bible is almost like reading the newspaper, it's all coming to pass. The books by Hal Lindsay called 'The Left Behind 'Series is so very close to Bible prophecy it's almost scary. Those of us that are 'saved' or 'born again through the Spirit of Jesus Christ' are not scared, we are looking forward to being in Heaven with God. You can decide where you spend eternity, Heaven or Hell. God gave us freedomof choice and that will be the most important choice you will ever make.