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.
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.