Arthritis is a general term covering numerous conditions where the joint surface or cartilage wears out. The joint surface is covered by a smooth articular surface that allows pain-free movement in the joint. This surface can wear out for several reasons; often the definite cause is not known. Arthritis often affects the knee joint.
Knee pain is a common condition affecting individuals from different age groups. It not only affects movement but also impacts the quality of life of the individual. An injury or disease of the knee joint or any structure surrounding the knee can result in knee pain.
A fracture is a condition in which there is a break in the continuity of the bone. In younger individuals, these fractures are caused from high energy injuries, as from a motor vehicle accident. In older people, the most common cause is weak and fragile bone.
Pain, swelling and stiffness are the common symptoms of any damage or injury to the knee. If care is not taken during the initial phases of injury, it may lead to joint damage that may end up destroying your knee.
Lateral patellar compression syndrome refers to pain under and around your kneecap. It is a common complaint among runners, jumpers, and other athletes such as skiers, cyclists and soccer players.
The knee joint is one of the largest joints in the body. This highly complex joint has several tissues supporting and stabilizing its movement:
- Condyles and menisci: Bony protrusions of the thighbone called condyles fit snugly into the depressions of the lateral and medial menisci (spongy cartilage) of the shinbone.
- Ligaments: bands of tissue crisscross across the joint bones, connecting and holding them in place.
- Capsules: tissue that connects the bones of the knee, by forming a sleeve over the joint.
- Muscles: provide secondary stability.
Anatomy of the Knee Joint
The knee, mostly the femoral condyles are most commonly affected. The two femoral condyles make up for the rounded end of femur (thighbone). Each knee has two femoral condyles, the medial femoral condyle on the inside of the knee and the lateral femoral condyle on the outside of the knee. Osteochondritis dissecans occurs within the lateral aspect of the medial femoral condyle. The condition can also occur in other joints, including your elbows, ankles, shoulders and hips.