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Author Topic: Can't fully extend leg. Any Thoughts?  (Read 23541 times)

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Offline humming

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Can't fully extend leg. Any Thoughts?
« on: November 25, 2005, 04:06:52 AM »

Hi, I'm new to this board.

There are times when I can't fully extend my leg.  I would be able to bend my knee fully, but not be able to extend it all the way.   
It would be very painful to even try to extend it to a lock position. But no problems or pain bending my knee.

It has happened before.  Happens usually when I'm do some form of sports.
It happens maybe several times a year.   Not a constant problem, but the durations are getting longer. 
Few years ago when this would happen, I would have to sit down on the ground reach my toes and my knee would wiggle back to normal.

When it happened last summer, I was unable to extend my knee for a couple of weeks before it got back to normal itself.
Just a week ago it happened again playing soccer and I wasn't able to fully extend my knee for a week.

And just today, I was sitting on my couch with my problem leg under me (not knowingly) and that did it for me.
I thought I was going to be out for another week, until I tried bending my knee all the way back and brought it over to the outside.  Then bending my knee all the way back and brought it over to my inside and when trying to extend all the way, (feeling something moving in my knee)
It seemed like it went back into place.

What is causing this to happen?
Damaged meniscus?
Piece of cartilage from my torn meniscus(if it's torn at all from a previous injury??) got flipped and was making my knee unable to extend?

I tried looking for info on this and I that's all I could come up with.

Anything I can do to prevent this from happening again?
Will I need to go under the knife?

Your experience and knowledge is much appreciated.

Offline Nettan

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Re: Can't fully extend leg. Any Thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2005, 06:10:43 AM »
Are you having any pain or just the problem in extending ?
Surgery 6 times left knee torn meniscus, RSDS,chondromalacia, nervdamage cause constant nervpain,chronic inflamm.
Spinaldamage wheeler 100%.
Right knee damaged aug-06, use brace surgery 4/9-07.LCL tear.

Offline humming

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Re: Can't fully extend leg. Any Thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2005, 04:52:53 PM »
no pain really..

When this problem happens,
the only pain I get is when I try to fully extend my leg.
I can bend my knee with no problems.

Offline Doc79316

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Re: Can't fully extend leg. Any Thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2005, 08:22:09 PM »

I think you should see a knee specialist sooner rather than later. It sounds as though you rknee is getting worse but you shouldn't leave it until it's completely unbearable before you decide to do something about it.
I've never had this problem with my knee, so it would be difficult to advise you.
Does your knee swell up at all? Do you get pain? Is it worse after sports? Is it worse at night? Do you know what is moving around inside your knee?
These are all questions you probably already have the answers to. A knee specialist will be able to clinically examine your knee and diagnose fairly quicly what is wrong. You may also consider asking for x-rays, MRi and ultrasound scans if no conclusive asnwers are given to you.
Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

Left knee surgery
08/06/02 - L/Release
13/08/03 - Fulkerson TTT
05/06/05 - Stabilisation & Medialisation/Tendon Transfer
13/01/06 - Proximal Hamstring Superior Stabilisation
06/03/06 - RSD/CRPS diagnosed
20/07/06 + 03/04/07- Excision of scar tissue
30/07/07 - PKR suggested by OS (no date yet)

Offline lenny

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Re: Can't fully extend leg. Any Thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2005, 08:00:17 PM »
A friend of mine had what sounds to be exactly the same thing as you have.  The problem would come and go, and then one day it locked up in an almost 90 degree bent position.  Turns out it was a piece of cartiage wandering around the knee joint.  They took it out and he's been basically fine ever since.  If I remember correctly, the recovery time was nil.  Hope your problem is as easy to fix as his was.


37 y.o. male

Offline humming

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Re: Can't fully extend leg. Any Thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2005, 12:43:42 AM »
Thanks for your replies!

It only swells up when it happens.  The only pain I get is when it happens, and i try to straighten my leg.  During anything I do, including sports, there is no pain if the reverse lock up does not happen.

I'm assuming it's a piece or a flap of cartilage moving around in my knee. It does make sense.
Good to hear that your friends problem was easy to fix.

I'm perfectly fine now.  No pain or nothing, but I haven't been as active as I have been.  Just being cautious right now.

Do you guys think I should carry on my activities and sports?
Is there anything I can do to prevent this?  Putting on a knee brace or knee compressor when playing sports and running around?

Offline princemaxton

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Re: Can't fully extend leg. Any Thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2014, 03:01:08 PM »
Hey, I'm also new to this but about 5 years ago I tore my MCL playing football. Didn't require surgery but the pain was unberable and with a brace and physical therapy my knee healed within about 3 to 4  months. Recently I was driving and my knee started giving me pain, and when I stepped out of the car it really started to hurt  but after walking for awhile it was fine. 3 days later I played football and before the game started my knee was slightly painful again. After the game I was limping, my knee couldn't fully extend and it swelled up a little. 2 days later and its's only painful when i try to extend it but I am limping. It's similar to your condition and I was wondering what you did to fix the problem and how long it took? Also, did you eventually seek any medical attention?

Offline Vickster

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Re: Can't fully extend leg. Any Thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2014, 03:20:09 PM »
Go see a doctor or physiotherapist, it could be one of many things.  Torn meniscus is often associated with not being able to extend as well as pain and swelling

In the meantime - Rest Ice Compression Elevation...i.e. no sport

I had a torn meniscus with locked knee - it took keyhole surgery to fix it but was quite a bad tear (which got worse while trying to avoid surgery for 5 months with physio)

Have a read of the meniscus primer in the information hub as well as some of the other excellent sections

Good luck :)
Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09
LK arthroscopy 8/2/10
2nd scope on 16/12/10
LK New MRI shows lat & medial meniscus tear & other stuff
RK MRI lat meniscus tear
8/1/15 RK Steroid jab,
RK arthroscopy on 5/2/15
Lateral meniscus trim, excision of hoffa's fat pad, chondral stabilisation

Offline LAS

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Re: Can't fully extend leg. Any Thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2014, 01:58:46 AM »
Hi There:  I had a similar experience. While driving my right knee locked up and I could not extend my knee.  It can be dangerous as well as uncomfortable.  I knew I had a meniscus tear but tore it a bit more. All of the pain was when I tried to extend my knee  Interestingly it didn't show up on the MRI done months before that so they didn't want to repeat it.  The OS knew it was a tear so I had to have arthroscopic surgery.  They removed pieces of cartilage in the joint.  The tear wasn't even that huge so even small tears can be a nightmare.   He did not advise PT at that time, said it wouldn't work.  There isn't much you can do besides rest, ice, elevate.  I know others who have used a knee brace, if it is bothering at night.  Take anti-inflammatory medication if you have pain.  Of course, see a physician to find out the cause behind your problem.

Best of Luck, LAS