Hip Solutions

Once cartilage is damaged, it cannot heal itself and the progressive deterioration leads to a loss of cartilage and exposed bone. Because pain sensors are located in bone and not in cartilage, it is the exposed bone that results in a knee pain.

What can damage cartilage?

A variety of events can damage cartilage, including:

  • trauma (injury)
  • infection
  • inflammation
  • joint that is not properly aligned

Arthritis commonly occurs where the joints in your knee meet, known as the condyles (the end of your thigh bone) or in the area behind the kneecap. If you have pain in your knee when getting up from a chair or going up and down stairs, you may have damage in your kneecap (patello femoral joint). If you have knee pain after standing or long walks then it may point to a problem in one of the condyles.


  • Quick Facts

    • The most common cause of knee pain is osteoarthritis (OA), a degenerative joint disease that causes the cartilage in your joints to break down. When that layer of cartilage — which is meant to “cushion” the joints and protect the surface of the bones — is damaged or worn away, your bones grind against one another, and that grinding hurts. You can feel it climbing stairs, working in the garden, or just bending your knees to sit. It may even keep you up at night.
    • OA can damage the entire knee or be limited to just one side of the knee. If you experience pain only on one side, or compartment, of your knee, your doctor may diagnose you with unicompartmental OA.
    • If you experience knee pain under the knee cap, your doctor may diagnose you with patello-femoral OA. This is not uncommon, as studies have shown that about one out of every 10 patients over the age of 40 have patello-femoral disease.
    • The factors leading to the development and progression of OA include aging, obesity, joint injuries, and a family history of arthritis (genetics). Although there is no cure, early diagnosis and treatment are crucial in slowing or preventing more damage to your joints.
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