Condyle vs. Epicondyle

Joints in the human body can be sensitive areas from different parts of the body are connected to each other. There are many different parts which are present that help in connecting it to the bones and the two most important ones are Condyle and Epicondyle. The main difference between these two is that the first one is a smooth prominence on the bone where it forms a joint with another bone that is situated on the lower side. The latter one is a protuberance above the condyle of a bone to which ligaments or tendons are attached and is present on the upper side of the joint.

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Condyle vs. Epicondyle

Contents: Difference between Condyle and Epicondyle

Comparison Chart

Basis of DistinctionCondyleEpicondyle
DefinitionA smooth prominence on the bone where it forms a joint with another bone that is situated on the lower side.A protuberance above the condyle of a bone to which ligaments or tendons are attached and are present on the upper side of the joint.
RoleHelps to keep the bone in shape and withstand pressure.Helps in separating the bone into two openings.
LocationPresent on the sides of jointPresent on the top of joint.
TypesMedial Condyle and the Lateral Condyle.Medial epicondyle of the humerus, lateral epicondyle of the humerus, Medial epicondyle of the femur and Lateral epicondyle of the femur.

What is Condyle?

This is the spherical surface which surrounds any joint around the bone, it is the most prominent part and is usually considered a part of the joint and has distinct features because of which it is seen as important. Usually, when a bone is longer in size, it connects to another bone, this is done by joints which connect the two parts. There are two main types of condyle projections found in the knee joint, the first one is known as Medial Condyle and the second one is known as Lateral Condyle. Usually, the first one is present on the left side while the other one exists on the right side. The primary function of the medial one is to withstand more weight as compared to the first one and is, therefore, larger in size. This is due to the center of mass being medial on the knee. On the front surface of the condyle, the bone is converted into the medial and lateral supracondylar ridges and can be felt when you move your finger on the front left of the knee. The lateral condyle might not be the bigger one but is the most prominent of the two both from the front and the back side. It is not as strong and therefore results in several critical injuries such as the fracture or dislocation of the bone. This is caused by activities such as skiing. The knee is not the only place where it is present but places like elbow also have the condyle. The condyle is the thicker part and constitutes the central area around these connections.

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What is Epicondyle?

The epicondyle is something similar to the condyle but is present on the outer surface on top of the condyle, it does not have any direct connection with the condyle but has the primary function when bone starts to split in two joints so that they can connect to the other one. There are many epicondyles present in a human body, and they have different characteristics. The first one is medial epicondyle of the humerus which is present on the inner side of the elbow while the lateral epicondyle of the humerus is present on the outer surface of the elbow. There are two other types as well, which are known as medial epicondyle of the femur and lateral epicondyle of the femur which is present near the knee surface and all of them play the same roles. The lateral one is the smallest of the two which is a little curved surface that attaches to the radial collateral ligament of the elbow joint. It also contains different muscles and can easily be rotated. The term tennis elbow which is a significant injury among sports players is caused when the lateral epicondyle is damaged, and that is because of the overuse of the upper arm which results in severe pain. The medial epicondyle is the larger part which is also the roughest area around the elbow or knee. It is not only existent in humans but is also found in animals and even birds. This is useful in protecting the ulnar nerve and creates a sensation when slight tingling is done which is known as the funny bone.

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Key Differences

  1. The word condyle has been originated from the Latin word Condylos and the Greek word kondylos, and both of them mean the joint at the end of the bone. While the word Epicondyle has originated, from the word condyle itself.
  2. The condyle is a smooth prominence on the bone where it forms a joint with another bone that is situated on the lower side. Epicondyle is a protuberance above the condyle of a bone to which ligaments or tendons are attached and is present on the upper side of the joint.
  3. There are two main types of the condyle, tie first one being Medial Condyle and the second one is known as Lateral Condyle. There are four main types of Epicondyle which are medial epicondyle of the humerus, lateral epicondyle of the humerus, medial epicondyle of the femur and lateral epicondyle of the femur.
  4. In Condyle, the medial condyle is larger in size and withstand more pressure while the lateral condyle is smaller in size but more prominent.
  5. In Epicondyle, the parallel one is the most minor and less noticeable while the medial one is the bigger and most prominent of the two.
  6. Condyle helps to keep the bone in shape and withstand pressure while the Epicondyle helps in separating the bone into two openings.

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