UNDERSTANDING KNEE PAIN

A COMMON CONDITION

Knee pain is a common condition with many possible causes. You may have injured your knee playing a sport, through overuse, or even while performing a simple, everyday activity. No matter what caused your injury, you probably know all too well that knee pain can impact the quality of your life.

CARTILAGE DOES NOT HEAL ON ITS OWN

If your pain persists, even after a surgical procedure to treat cartilage defects of the knee, there is another treatment option that may bring you long-lasting relief.

HOW THE KNEE WORKS

Your knee is a complex joint serving as the meeting point for three major bones: the tibia (shin bone), the femur (thigh bone), and the patella (knee cap). Ligaments and cartilage are tissues connecting and protecting these bones at the knee joint.

Knee anatomy


CARTILAGE: A KEY CONNECTIVE TISSUE

Cartilage is a strong, rubbery tissue found in many parts of the body, including joints. There are two types of cartilage found in the knee:
Meniscus—acts as a cushion between the bones
Articular cartilage—covers the ends of the bones to ensure smooth movement

 

Knee cartilage anatomy


ARTICULAR CARTILAGE CAN BE DAMAGED IN A NUMBER OF WAYS

CHRONIC OR REPETITIVE ACTIONSCartilage damage

Exercise, sports, or physical work can cause cartilage to weaken and wear out with time

ACUTE OR TRAUMATIC EVENTS

Such as a fall—can cause immediate and severe cartilage damage


SYMPTOMS OF KNEE INJURIES

Symptoms of knee injuries


CARTILAGE DOES NOT HEAL ON ITS OWN

Unlike other tissues, cartilage does not repair itself. That’s why cartilage injuries are chronic and often get worse as time goes on. If conservative treatment has not worked to relieve pain, surgery is often the answer.

Learn about treatment options>

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