Understanding Knee Pain
Your joints are involved in almost every activity you do. Movements such as walking, bending and turning require the use of your hip and knee joints. When the knee becomes diseased or injured, the resulting pain can severely limit your ability to move and work.
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The knee is the largest joint in the body and is central to nearly every routine activity. The knee joint is formed by the ends of 3 bones:

  • The lower end of the thigh bone, or femur.
  • The upper end of the shin bone, or tibia.
  • The kneecap, or patella.

Thick, tough tissue bands called ligaments connect the bones and stabilize the joint.

A smooth, plastic like lining called cartilage covers the ends of the bones and prevents them from rubbing against each other, allowing for flexible and nearly frictionless movement. Cartilage also serves as a shock absorber, cushioning the bones from the forces between them. Finally a soft tissue called synovium lines the joint and produces a lubricating fluid that reduces friction and wear.

Common Causes of Knee Pain

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Osteoarthritis (OA) is sometimes called degenerative arthritis because it is a "wearing out" condition involving the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. When cartilage wears away, the bones rub against each other, causing pain and stiffness.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) produces chemical changes in the synovium (the lining of the joints) that causes it to become thickened and inflamed. In turn, the synovial fluid destroys cartilage. The end result is cartilage loss, pain, and stiffness.

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Sarcomas are a diverse and relatively rare group of malignant tumors that develop in soft tissue and bone. They are named by the tissue of origin; for example, osteosarcomas develop in bone, liposarcomas form in fat, rhabdomyosarcomas form in muscle and Ewing sarcomas form in bone and soft tissue.3

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Treatment Options for Knee Pain
Take the first step towards returning to your favorite activities by scheduling an appointment with a surgeon. Your orthopaedic surgeon will review and discuss their diagnosis with you. Based on his or her diagnosis, your treatment options may include:

  • Medication
  • Joint fluid supplements
  • Physical therapy
  • Bracing
  • Joint replacement
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Don't Let Knee Pain Slow You Down

If you haven't experienced adequate relief with medication and other conservative treatments, Knee Replacement may provide the relief from your arthritis pain and may enable you to return to your favorite activities. Remember, even if your doctor recommends knee replacement for you, it is still up to you to make the final decision.

Whether you are exploring treatment options or considering joint replacement, Stryker's free and local Joint Pain Seminars can provide you with more information.

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Hip joint replacement is intended for use in individuals with joint disease resulting from degenerative and rheumatoid arthritis, avascular necrosis, fracture of the neck of the femur or functional deformity of the hip.

Knee joint replacement is intended for use in individuals with joint disease resulting from degenerative, rheumatoid and post-traumatic arthritis, and for moderate deformity of the knee. Joint replacement surgery is not appropriate for patients with certain types of infections, any mental or neuromuscular disorder which would create an unacceptable risk of prosthesis instability, prosthesis fixation failure or complications in postoperative care, compromised bone stock, skeletal immaturity, severe instability of the joint, or excessive body weight.

Like any surgery, joint replacement surgery has serious risks which include, but are not limited to, pain, bone fracture, change in the treated leg length (hip), joint stiffness, hip joint fusion, amputation, peripheral neuropathies (nerve damage), circulatory compromise (including deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the legs)), genitourinary disorders (including kidney failure), gastrointestinal disorders (including paralytic ileus (loss of intestinal digestive movement)), vascular disorders (including thrombus (blood clots), blood loss, or changes in blood pressure or heart rhythm), bronchopulmonary disorders (including emboli, stroke or pneumonia), heart attack, and death.

Implant related risks which may lead to a revision of the implant include dislocation, loosening, fracture, nerve damage, heterotopic bone formation (abnormal bone growth in tissue), wear of the implant, metal sensitivity, soft tissue imbalance, osteolysis (localized progressive bone loss), audible sounds during motion, and reaction to particle debris.

The information presented is for educational purposes only. Speak to your doctor to decide if joint replacement surgery is appropriate for you. Individual results vary and not all patients will return to the same activity level. The lifetime of any joint replacement is limited and depends on several factors like patient weight and activity level. Your doctor will counsel you about strategies to potentially prolong the lifetime of the device, including avoiding high-impact activities, such as running, as well as maintaining a healthy weight. It is important to closely follow your physician’s instructions regarding post-surgery activity, treatment and follow-up care.

Ask your doctor if a joint replacement is right for you.

Stryker Corporation or its other divisions or other corporate affiliated entities own, use or have applied for the following trademarks or service marks: GetAroundKnee, Mako, Mobile Bearing Hip, Stryker, Together with our customers, we are driven to make healthcare better. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners or holders.

Stryker is a sponsor of the PGA TOUR. Hal Sutton and Fred Funk are paid spokespersons of Stryker, and their statements represent their personal views based on their personal experiences.



  1. Center for Disease Control and Prevention website, www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/arthritis.htm, accessed November 2014.
  2. Arthritis Foundation website, www.arthritis.org/arthritis-facts/disease-center/rheumatoid-arthritis.php, accessed September 2014.
  3. National Cancer Institute website, www.cancer.gov/researchandfunding/snapshots/sarcoma, accessed January 2015.
  4. SARC (Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration) website, www.sarctrials.org/soft-tissue-sarcoma, accessed November 2014.
  5. Arthritis Foundation website, www.arthritis.org/arthritis-facts/understanding-arthritis.php, accessed October 2014.
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