My story is a very long one (posted in different ways over time here), so here's the shortest version possible: Life-long athlete, 4+ years of a nagging swelling feeling in knee, worsened by any weighted activity, especially bike and standing. That made me avoid full extension and had me standing on one leg all the time. Last year after trying everything anyone could think of, I gave up, had an anterior interval release done by a Steadman-trained OS. I had significant scarring of the fat pad, plica and synovitis (removed). I was pain-free post op, barely had any swelling. My recovery was pretty slow, especially restoring flexion, but shortly after the surgery-related stiffness abated I could tell that my original symptoms were still there. That realization has been the most depressing thing in my life.
I've seen several top specialists. Looking at my fresh post-op MRI, one thinks this is it, you don't dare remove more fat pad, and it's time to head for rheumatology because he believes it's metabolic, not mechanical. Another says it's synovitis, rest it, ice it, worst case we go back in and precisely remove that stuff and more carefully manage the recovery/rehab.
I guess I'm asking this because I'm wondering if anyone has EVER had such a vexing knee problem. My knee almost never really hurts (it did post op when I started stairs again, and still does if I kneel wrong and lean back a little). It's just this nagging swelling that is worse now after the AIR, around the whole fat pad area.