The Knee

The knee joint can be considered a hinge joint with a small rotational joint component. There are three compartments in the knee: the medial (on the large toe side of the knee), the lateral (small toe side of the knee) and the patellofemoral (under the kneecap) compartment. Four main ligaments in the knee stop the knee from giving way. There are four groups of muscles surrounding that help stabilise and move the knee.

The nerve supply for the knee comes from the back and bypasses the hip.

On the inside of the knee between the upper leg and lower leg are two shock absorbers that resemble spongy rubbery structures and these are called menisci. They separate the two ends of the bone which are covered with cartilage.

Knee Problems

Problems that involve the menisci and cartilage usually cause you to feel a locking, clicking or swelling sensation in the knee.

  • Problems with the ligaments usually cause you to experience giving way or distrust in the knee. Muscle and nerve problems may make you feel local pain around the knee with weakness of specific movements.
  • Arthritis is the failure of the cartilage due to ageing or other reasons, and this usually leads to grating, stiffness and varying degrees of pain.
  • Pain from the hip or back may be felt in the knee, and this is called referred pain.