The most common cause of knee pain is knee osteoarthritis. The pain may come and go, become worse over time, or come accompanied by other symptoms, including knee stiffness. The condition develops due to degeneration of the cartilage. While the cartilage does not contain any nerves, damage or missing cartilage in the knee causes friction between bones and bone tissue changes, leading to pain. For example, damaged cartilage can lead to various bone changes such as:
• Bone Spurs
Bone spurs, also known as osteophytes, are abnormal bony growth at the knee joints with damaged cartilage. The joint bones produce the bone spurs to compensate for missing or deteriorated cartilage. Bone spurs have an irregular shape that creates more friction in the knee joint, causing discomfort and pain.
• Subchondral Bone Sclerosis
Due to undistributed weight loads, the tibia and femur surfaces, which lie beneath the cartilage, can change in composition, making it harden.
• Cysts And Bone Marrow Lesions
Missing or deteriorated knee cartilage can also lead to cysts development and bone marrow lesions (areas of abnormal swelling). These cysts and lesions lead to knee discomfort and pain.