Disclaimer: This information is for patient education only. Any specific questions regarding care should be discussed with your orthopaedic doctor.

Overview of the Knee

The knee joint consists of three bones—the tibia, femur, and patella—and is unlike many other joints in the body because it only allows bending in one direction. Cartilage covers the bones where they meet in the joint for protection, and two menisci supply extra cushion for the end of the femur. There are also two ligaments connecting the femur and tibia, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). The knee provides shock absorption, balance, and mobility for the rest of the body. See the animation for a visual representation.

Types of Knee Pain

  • Swelling or tenderness
  • Pain with movement or touch
  • Weakness or instability
  • Pain when bending or straightening the leg

***Click on a title below to watch an educational video. For a printable brochure, click on the icon in the upper left corner of the video.***