Understanding Knee Pain

Runner with knee pain

A common condition

Knee pain is a common condition with many possible causes. You may have injured your knee playing a sport, through overuse, or even while performing a simple, everyday activity. No matter what caused your injury, you probably know all too well that knee pain can impact the quality of your life.


Cartilage does not heal on its own

If your pain persists, even after a surgical procedure to treat cartilage defects of the knee, there is another treatment option that may bring you long-lasting relief.

Sidelined by knee pain? You’re not alone.

View the results of our national knee pain survey >

How the knee works

Your knee is a complex joint serving as the meeting point for three major bones: the tibia (shin bone), the femur (thigh bone), and the patella (knee cap). Ligaments and cartilage are tissues connecting and protecting these bones at the knee joint.

Knee anatomy

Cartilage: a key connective tissue

Cartilage is a strong, rubbery tissue found in many parts of the body, including joints. There are two types of cartilage found in the knee:
Meniscus—acts as a cushion between the bones
Articular cartilage—covers the ends of the bones to ensure smooth movement


Knee cartilage anatomy