Before assessing your knee pain, it’s important for you to understand what may be happening at your point of pain. Here are some insights into how your knee works and how important cartilage is to being able to function pain-free.

How your 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 (kneecap). In order for your knee to flex freely, articular cartilage must protect where hard surfaces come into contact.

Healthy cartilage is critical for protecting your knees

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:

  1. Meniscus—acts as a cushion between the knees
  2. Articular cartilage—covers the ends of the bones to ensure smooth movement

When cartilage is damaged, it no longer functions well to provide a smooth, impact-resistant coverage of your bone during activities such as walking, kneeling, running, and jumping.

Cartilage does not heal on its own

Unlike other tissues, cartilage does not naturally regenerate. That’s why cartilage injuries are chronic and frequently get worse as time goes on.

77% of knee pain sufferers say they can no longer participate in at least one activity they previously enjoyed because of knee pain.

How cartilage can be damaged

Chronic or repetitive actions

Exercise, sports, or physical work can cause cartilage to weaken and wear over time.

Acute or traumatic events

Falls and accidents can cause immediate and severe cartilage damage.

See how cartilage damage might affect you as time goes on

Are you ready to learn more about your knee pain?

Not sure what your knee pain is telling you? Take this short quiz to see how much it affects your life. Take the knee pain quiz 

Is MACI right for you?
See how the MACI procedure may be your next best step. Learn about MACI 

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