The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: emmabb8 on March 15, 2013, 05:55:42 AM

Title: Help Please...
Post by: emmabb8 on March 15, 2013, 05:55:42 AM
Hi, I'm new. My name is Emma, im 19,  and i dont know what to do... (Note: sorry this might be long and please excuse my grammer and spelling)

Ever since i was born i have had "bad knees" as i call it. I'm quite sure its genetic for i didnt have any serious trama to them when i was very young and my dad and brother both have them. Everytime i even slightly slip, stumble, or trip my knee slips/pops/twists/slides/freaks out and it hurts really really bad. All it takes is to place my foot wrong or step on a rock for my leg to give and i fall. It feels like it doesn't go back to where ever it is its supposed to go. Over time i've learned how to position my leg when i feel this start to happen; my leg just wobbles and it goes back. It doesn't necessarily hurt at first it just feels extremely strange. I'm able to catch it when im walking because i can quickly switch my weight to my other leg. Yet, this happens mostly when i'm going down stairs and its nearly impossible to catch it in that situation. My knee feels like it completly pops out of place and i fall. It hurts really, really bad and takes a very long time to stop. The pain is almost numbing. i know those kind of conteract one another but if youve felt it you should know what i mean. I normally just kind of lay on the ground and bend my knee repeatedly until the pain stops.The rest of the day my knee feels very loose and wobbly unless it swells then i can barely move it. This happens in both of them.

When i was seven my knee slipped when i was going down the stairs. I fell down the whole flight and nearly cracked my skull. It scared my parents quite badly so they went to many knee specialists and i ended up having surgery in my right knee. The doctor said it was located extremely far to the side so he moved it back. It was fine for a while but about a year later it started doing it again. My left one had never stopped.

I have kind of accepted this as a way of life. I think i might have actually developed a phobia of stairs (i dont care if you laugh, i realize how ridiculous it is) because whenever i go down them my knee shifts and i fall. Its really embarressing. I go down stairs differently from other people because im so cautious.

About a year ago i was getting off of my school bus when my surgery knee slipped again. Yet, because of the small stairway the bus has i couldnt fall straight down and instead fell on my leg which caused it to comepletly dislocate instead of just wobbeling severly. Once i became unstuck from the stairway i tried to stand but my knee was in severe pain. It turns out i not only dislocated it but i might have chipped part of the cartliage surrounding it.

After that i started working out with my dad. They definitly dont go out as much as they did when i was young but i think thats just because of age. I honestly dont know if it helped. I stopped going to the gym last fall because marching band season began and i didnt have time.

I sort of understand how to help it, i guess. Strengthening my leg muscles and loosing excess weight will relive it, right? I'm 5'7 and weigh 190 lbs. I mean, i know thats "clinically overweight" but i dont really think i look obese but ill admit i do have some extra flab. i dont have really any muscle, which is a definite problem. So is exercise the only way to help it? ill do it, no matter how badly i dont want to. What exercises? It just seems like they dont do anything.

Today i fell again and it was worse than normal. It still feels really wobbly and strange. I dont like living like this. I cant even go down a staircase without almost breaking my neck. Im a coward. I dont even know how to ride a bike because im afraid of my knees. I start shaking just thinking about going to gym class simply because of the possibility we will have to run bleachers or do squats and lunges. I dont know anyone else who has this problem like me. All my friends just think im a whimp (they dont say it to my face of course but i can see it in their eyes); and i probably am. I'm tired of being scared of living my life. Im going to collage soon and i dont wanna look like a fool being scared of a freaking staircase.

Again, im sorry for the length. Its more or less my life story. I just dont know whats wrong with me and i dont know what to do.

P.S. im from USA so the times im online will probably be strange to all of you
Title: Re: Help Please...
Post by: JessJess28 on March 15, 2013, 03:02:43 PM
So sorry about your knee. Sounds similar to mine. I would maybe start with asking your Primary Care Dr or Orthopedic Surgeon for a referral to physical therapy. They can show you some exercises to strengthen the muscles around your knee. You might want to see an OS though so they can do a physical exam and see if anything is off in your knee. Good luck!
Title: Re: Help Please...
Post by: allyd on March 15, 2013, 04:19:41 PM
There are many on this board that can sympathize with you… to clarify– Is it your kneecap that slips and gives out?

Targeted exercise/strengthening is the perfect place to start. It’s not just about ‘exercising’ in general – but specifically strengthening your leg muscles, hips and core. And it’s always healthy for many reasons to drop excess weight; but at this point having dealt with it the majority of your life, I don’t think that is having a strong influence on your knee issues. It is likely more anatomical/strength problems than excess weight causing your knee to give way.

Like JessJess says try to get a referral from a doctor for some PT. They will be able develop a strengthening plan specific for you. Also start researching and learning about your knees, so you have pointed questions to ask doctors/PTs. There is a great overview on the “info hub” of this site. I’d suggest you specifically read up on the patella overview. (

And no worries - there are plenty of us from the US on this board.  ;D
Title: Re: Help Please...
Post by: ozzie on March 15, 2013, 05:26:24 PM
Good luck.  Definitely get to see a doctor.  That sounds scary and why worry about it when you can get some medical support?  from, another American Knee Geek!  :)
Title: Re: Help Please...
Post by: emmabb8 on March 15, 2013, 06:34:17 PM
Ok thanks! i will definitly get an appointment with my doctor and see if i can start physical therapy.

allyd: Yes it is my kneecap that slips out of place. When comparing my knee with my friend's side by side my kneecap appears to be in a different place than hers. Thanks for the link i'll start reading now :)
Title: Re: Help Please...
Post by: kimber71346 on March 15, 2013, 07:30:37 PM
My os always tells me that it is important to watch my weight. I can tell the difference in my knees when I gain and lose weight. You definetly need to see a dr. for your problem.  It totally sucks having to constantly be in some sort of discomfort. I'm scheduled to have an MPFL reconstruction next friday for the same issue you are having. Good luck!
Title: Re: Help Please...
Post by: allyd on March 15, 2013, 08:24:12 PM
My os always tells me that it is important to watch my weight. I can tell the difference in my knees when I gain and lose weight.

I agree – to a point. But I think at age 19 and having years upon years of instability problems – its not likely a huge factor for the OP, and like she points out – she is not overtly overweight. In my experience with my OS’s; patella instability doesn’t relate to weight directly. I point blank asked my one OS if I lost weight, would my knee get better – he quickly answered “nope, not going to make a difference for your situation.” (and I asked this AFTER I had lost a sizeable amount of weight, with little improvement to my knee)

That’s not to say added weight doesn’t add pressure to an already stressed knee – and that the longterm health of your knees relies on a healthy weight. But, In my experience, it’s just not really going to fix a patella instability problem.

Emma – try to get in to see an OS/PT, and ultimately understand the root cause of your instability. Trying to avoid surgery is a great attitude; but do know there are options if/when you exhaust non-surgical treatments.