Knee pain causes include tears in ligaments, arthritis, meniscus issues, inflammation of the kneecap tendon (tendonitis), osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Pain in the knee joint is one of the most common types of pain; for example, in the UK, 18 percent of those aged 45 and over live with the discomfort of osteoarthritis of the knee, according to a Statista 2019 study.
Knee pain can affect you at any age and is not limited to older people. Injury, worn down cartilage, infection or medical conditions such as arthritis or tendonitis can all be root causes of knee pain. Do not self-diagnose – see a GP if you’re worried about your symptoms.
The function of the knee is to bend and straighten the leg while bearing body weight together with the hips and the ankle. In order to perform all of these movements and support the body, the knee relies on several structures, bones, tendons and cartilages.
Understanding the anatomy of the knee joint
The knee joint comprises four essential bones: the femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone), fibula, and patella (kneecap). Four ligaments connect the thigh bone to the calf, providing stability: the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) prevent the femur and tibia from sliding too far forward or backward, while the medial collateral (MCL) and lateral collateral ligaments (LCL) limit side to side movement of the joint.