The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: eesilife on October 28, 2005, 07:52:59 PM

Title: Hemarthrosis - unknown cause
Post by: eesilife on October 28, 2005, 07:52:59 PM
In January 2005 my right knee swelled to the size of a melon.  I went to Emergency where I was told that I had blood on my knee, and to RICE it, and to stay off work for a week (I am a FedEx courier/walker - haha).  I did this and the swelling went down.  But in March the same thing happened, so I went back to Emergency, where the doctor actually aspirated my knee (just a small amount) to determine that the swelling was actually blood.  And it was.  He said that blood indicated a trauma, whereas 'fluid' without blood would be indicitive of a degenerative condition ie osteoarthritis.  I told him that I hadn't "done" anything, so he sent me for xrays, and told me to RICE it and to stay off work a week.  Apparently the xrays showed nothing.  Since then I have had swelling occur approximately 8 more times and the frequency is increasing (happening about every 10 days now).  I found an OS and have seen him twice.  The first time he told me the bleeding could be due to 3 things.  First a piece of something floating around.  Second (he used an acronym which I can't remember), little grape like pockets inside my knee joint, which could rupture and cause the knee to swell (he said this would show on an MRI).  Third, and most horrible, is bleeding bone inside my knee - either my kneecap, or femur. He told me to get an MRI.  Which I have done.  The second time I saw him (last week), he said the MRI showed I had mild osteoarthritis, a small Baker's Cyst, but really, nothing else.  His next statement put me on the floor.  He thinks he needs to remove my kneecap.  Which after reading various post, I'm obviously not going to let him perform.

A bit more background.  When I was younger I suffered from numerous knee dislocations (the type where the kneecap pops back in by itself, or with a little help).  This went on until I was about 25, and I am now 44, and haven't had this problem since.  But 5 years ago, a dog ran into my leg, at a bad angle, and again dislocated my kneecap.  I went to the hospital, where xrays showed I had a small fracture on the bottom of my kneecap.  This all healed, and everything was fine.  I have had no pain in my kee -- none -- other than the usual 40years of use creaking and groaning.  Nothing to even indicate I had osteoarthritis.  I feel that if I had bleeding bones in my knee, which as the OS said was due to the bone being rubbed raw, that I would have experience some pain over the last few years.

So my question is, does anyone out there have any idea as to what could be going on.  Obviously this affects my job, but it also affects my mental health, as I'm completely frustrated and somewhat concerned.  What could be causing this bleeding?  Is it possible for MRI's and Xrays to miss something?
Title: Re: Hemarthrosis - unknown cause
Post by: blackbeltgirl on October 28, 2005, 08:30:00 PM
I don't know much about your case, but yes, it is possible for mris and x-rays to miss things.

It is also possible that your cartilage has been degenerating for years and you didn't really notice, until something happened to "wake up" that area.  The amount of damage to articular cartilage has no direct relationship to the amount of pain.  There are patients who can barely walk, with lesions the size of a tic tac.  Then there's someone like you, who probably surpressed any response to those particular nerve endings years ago, due to repeated trauma.  Then something unusual happens and the brain decide to listen to those nerve endings again.  I know that's completely unscientific, but that's how I feel it happened to me too.  And I'm only 31.  I don't know if any doctors would agree with my assessment, but it works for me.  And it does seem to match a lot of other folks' stories too.

Research everything you can.  If you have damage to the back of the patella, you may be eligible for microfracture, OATS, or ACI to repair the damage.  Check out (go the resources, knee) for info on articular cartilage health.  That way you can ask really good questions the next time you see your OS.

Good luck.
Title: Re: Hemarthrosis - unknown cause
Post by: eesilife on October 28, 2005, 08:49:31 PM
Thanks Jess, I will certainly check out cartilagedoc.  I do know what you mean about the "unscientific".  I really believe that we can know more about what is going on in our bodies than either diagnostic tools or surgeon can always assess.

Title: Re: Hemarthrosis - unknown cause
Post by: cgetz on December 06, 2009, 03:16:44 AM
Dear Lianne,

I realize it was quite a while ago since your post - but I am having a similar problem, and wondered what happened with you after all these years. My knee also just blew up on morning after my walk. I had very little pain prior to this (although I broke my knee cap some 25 years ago). I have had it aspirated 4 times in 6 weeks and every time it is all blood they remove, xray and mri only show loss of cartilage but nothing else. I am going in for synvisc treatments next week, but no one has really been able to figure out why the bleeding / swelling. I can't walk without a limp yet (after 7 weeks), and am always afraid it will swell up again and then off to get it drained I go. What ever happened with your knee? Did it get resolved? If anyone else has any thoughts I would love to hear from you too.

Thanks much