What are some signs and symptoms of medial compartment osteoarthritis?

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

The engineering of the knee is still a relative mystery to modern science. The knee is a complicated joint full of intricate details, which allow you to perform everyday tasks of standing, walking, running, jumping and sitting. Put simply, the knee joint is composed of three compartments -- the inner and outer compartments and the knee cap. The inner compartment, also known as the medial compartment, houses a variety of ligaments, providing you with stability when walking or standing. Cartilage and fluid, also inside the knee, help absorb the friction associated with movement of your knee bones. Medial compartment osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage of the knee deteriorates. The onset of medial compartment osteoarthritis, as well as other forms of knee arthritis, typically begins in middle or older age [source: AAOS].

Knee pain is a common symptom of a variety of knee-related problems, including medial compartment osteoarthritis. In addition to pain, other common symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee include stiffness and swelling. You may find it difficult to bend or straighten your leg. You may also experience weakness in the knee, including buckling or locking of the knee [source: AAOS]. Ever feel like you can predict when it's going to rain based on the severity of your knee pain? You're not alone; many people who experience osteoarthritis of the knee have increased knee pain depending on the weather.


There is a variety of non-surgical and non-medical treatment options for mild medical compartment osteoarthritis, so seek medical attention when signs of the condition first appear. Don't ignore mild knee pain. Knee pain, left untreated, can increase in severity overtime, and lead to serious problems performing simple everyday tasks. Many people with advanced stage medial compartment osteoarthritis need total knee replacement surgery, which involves a lengthy recovery process.