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Author Topic: Plica Syndrome--Do I have it?  (Read 145 times)

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Offline SoarTexasKnee6510

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Plica Syndrome--Do I have it?
« on: June 11, 2018, 03:43:23 AM »
Hi Everyone,

I'll try to keep this pretty brief, but basically I've been in mostly constant knee pain for a year and a half and I, along with some of my doctors, think it might be Plica Syndrome with some patellar tendinopathy.

To give you some backstory, I'm a 27 year old male, about 175lbs, 5'10 and about 4 years ago I got really really into running and doing Bikram Yoga. I hadn't been really active before that, besides 5 years I spent in NYC where I walked and biked a lot. So after 2 years of intense, regular activity, without proper stretching or strengthening out of ignorance, I developed knee pain. At first it was just general soreness, but over 2 months it escalated to burning, aching pain accompanied by cracking and popping. I haven't been able to run or cycle without aggravating it since. I've spent the last 5/6 months in physical therapy working on strength and flexibility in my quads, glutes and hamstrings. I recently did a strength test and my PT says I've increased my overall leg strength considerably.

However, I still have intense popping, and my knee gets incredibly aggravated just from long walks. My Sports Medicine doctor, another knee surgeon I saw and my PT all think I have an inflamed Plica, which makes sense. It basically feels like there are tight bands inside of my knee that pop and crack.

BUT, the only thing I don't have is tenderness when I touch my knee. Pain to the touch is the only trademark Plica Syndrome symptom I don't have.

MY QUESTION: Have any of you heard of someone having Plica Syndrome without pain to the touch? I have all the other symptoms, I (and my doctors) can physically feel the Plica but I don't get the kind of shooting pain others get just from touching it. Although, I still get shooting pain sometimes when it's aggravated.

I want to get it removed, but I want to get multiple opinions first before I make a decision. Any insight will be much appreciated. I've been on a long road and am hoping to find some viable solutions soon. 

Offline Mabs

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Re: Plica Syndrome--Do I have it?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2018, 07:20:22 AM »
Hi,

I can't really comment on if you have it but hope you keep this thread updated. I posted about this last week but no replies so far, seems like it's not  well known thing.

Can I ask, when you say you can feel the plica? is it really big? Or just ridges (if you read my post it'll make sense).

Fingers crossed you get some answers and relief from pain.

M.

Offline adamas

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Re: Plica Syndrome--Do I have it?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2018, 05:45:14 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I'll try to keep this pretty brief, but basically I've been in mostly constant knee pain for a year and a half and I, along with some of my doctors, think it might be Plica Syndrome with some patellar tendinopathy.

To give you some backstory, I'm a 27 year old male, about 175lbs, 5'10 and about 4 years ago I got really really into running and doing Bikram Yoga. I hadn't been really active before that, besides 5 years I spent in NYC where I walked and biked a lot. So after 2 years of intense, regular activity, without proper stretching or strengthening out of ignorance, I developed knee pain. At first it was just general soreness, but over 2 months it escalated to burning, aching pain accompanied by cracking and popping. I haven't been able to run or cycle without aggravating it since. I've spent the last 5/6 months in physical therapy working on strength and flexibility in my quads, glutes and hamstrings. I recently did a strength test and my PT says I've increased my overall leg strength considerably.

However, I still have intense popping, and my knee gets incredibly aggravated just from long walks. My Sports Medicine doctor, another knee surgeon I saw and my PT all think I have an inflamed Plica, which makes sense. It basically feels like there are tight bands inside of my knee that pop and crack.

BUT, the only thing I don't have is tenderness when I touch my knee. Pain to the touch is the only trademark Plica Syndrome symptom I don't have.

MY QUESTION: Have any of you heard of someone having Plica Syndrome without pain to the touch? I have all the other symptoms, I (and my doctors) can physically feel the Plica but I don't get the kind of shooting pain others get just from touching it. Although, I still get shooting pain sometimes when it's aggravated.

I want to get it removed, but I want to get multiple opinions first before I make a decision. Any insight will be much appreciated. I've been on a long road and am hoping to find some viable solutions soon.

My case is similar to yours. I developed bilateral knee pain 9 months ago after several years of running and intense mountain walking without proper strengthening nor stretching.
My pain is a burning sensation on the medial side of both kneecaps. When I walk too much in a single day, I start to feel catching, as if some tissue around the knee gets swollen and impinges the kneecap or femur.

I had MRIs and consulted a few orthopedic surgeons. They all diagnosed me with patellofemoral pain syndrome, which basically means that they do not have a clue about what is causing pain, since the MRIs do not show clear damage. One OS told me that I have an inflamed plica on the right knee, barely visible on the MRI. Like you, I don't have though the tenderness and pain when touching the plica.

Anyway, every medical professional I saw, being OS, sports doctor or physical therapists, warned me against any kind of surgery, including plica excision, since in a non-negligible percentage of cases the knee ends up being more painful after the surgery than before.

Offline Clarkey

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Re: Plica Syndrome--Do I have it?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2018, 10:14:57 PM »
Hi There,

My right knee problems started with anterior knee pain with some catching inside the knee and ended up seeing a OS that mentioned that the plica might be inflamed. Causing catching and anterior knee pain. Saw another OS a few years later, he located the knee pain at a certain angle by rotating the knee felt the sharp pinching pain I was feeling when pushing my knee through its paces. Did not get any pain touching around the plica only when my OS got my knee twisted to a certain angle.

Would be weary and cautious about going ahead with surgery can often make the knee worse not better. Have had 3 scopes on my right knee, my 1st one was medial plica excision and fat pad trimming that were both inflamed. The problem it can cause is excessive scar tissue build up around the patella tendon. My last surgery #3 in January 2018 was for chronic patella tendinitis. Was only going for a patella decompression surgery removing scar tissue and bone spurs around the patella tendon. Had anterior interval release surgery for the 2nd time, 1st one was done during scope #2 and had a lateral meniscus repaired that was missed out on my MRI scan.

Might be given the option to try a cortisone injection before having surgery. It still risky in that it could weaken/soften you cartilage, that's safer than a diagnostic arthroscopy. Doing lots of running can cause jumper knee or patella tendonitis, that's hard to get right again once it becomes chronic.

Good luck, hopefully the anterior knee pain can be sorted in none invasive form of treatment with your sport physiotherapist and sport medicine doctor.

[email protected]
RK: PFPS, Arthrofibrosis, Tendinopathy, Five cortisone injections
16/01/18 Anterior interval release, distal patella excision, lateral meniscal repair
18/07/14 Anterior interval release  
16/11/09 Medial plica excision, fat pad trimming