The knee constitutes one of the most important body parts of mammals, and especially us humans, since we rely on our two legs for walking and running. The knee joins the thigh with the leg, and consists of two joints, one between the femur (called thigh bone) with the tibia (a bone in the front part of the lower leg), and another joint between the femur and the patella, commonly known as the kneecap.
It is a type of modified hinge joint, composed of three main functional parts, the patella (and the patellar groove) and the two links between the femurand the tibia which is the main bone of the lower leg. The joint is enclosed in a joint capsule, which is filled with synovial fluid, which also earns it the name synovial joint. Knee is the largest and one of the most important joints in the human body, as it plays a vital role in forward movement like walking and running and also in vertical movement like jumping and squatting. For these functions, it is also assisted by a variety of muscles, mainly of the two types, extensor, helping in extension of the joint, and the flexor, which helps make the joint more flexible. It also has a steady supply of blood through a vast network of blood vessels which surround the knee region, providing a constant flow of blood to and from the knee. The presence of so many components in the knee makes diagnosis of knee injuries and other knee-related problems a bit trickier than other things.
This joint is very much vulnerable to injury and the most harmful of such medical problems can be osteoarthritis. Knee pain is primarily caused by trauma; like a blunt force hitting on the knee, misalignment; which may be also due to some sort of external force or accident, and also degeneration; which may be due to old age or some sort of diseases. The primary symptoms and signs of knee injuries may be summarized as follows, and the appearance of any such signs should be immediately dealt with proper medical attention.
The most prominent of all the symptoms during knee injury is a swollen knee, and these may be further classified into two types; those where the knee swells immediately, indicating a tear or fracture in the ligament, and those where the swelling arises over a prolonged period of time, which may indicate injuries in the cartilage or the meniscus region.
Pain is also one of the foremost and most telling symptoms of a knee injury, and it can also be categorised into different levels. Pain felt while climbing up a flight of stairs may be an indication of meniscus injury, where the cartilage is being pinched in the joint as the joint space narrows with knee bending, whereas pain which is felt while walking down stairs may suggest patellar pain, where the kneecap is being forced onto the femur.