The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: soniaj on July 27, 2004, 09:59:49 PM

Title: Mystery knee injury, advice?
Post by: soniaj on July 27, 2004, 09:59:49 PM
Hi all,
My husband went swimming 2 days ago, and afterward his knee was sore. He injured this knee about 20 years ago--not sure of the diagnosis then, and has had occasional trouble with it. Yesterday it was very sore when he woke up, but it loosened up after he walked around awhile. Now today he has extreme pain in his knee cap, swelling above the knee cap, and he can not bend the knee at all. Any ideas? ???  

Currently he's resting--not much choice about that!  :-/  And he's taking ibuprophen and elevating his leg.

Any help appreciated! Thanks!
Title: Re: Mystery knee injury, advice?
Post by: Nettan on July 28, 2004, 12:55:51 AM
Hey !!

Is swimming a new sport he hasn't done for ages ?

Nettan  ::)
Title: Re: Mystery knee injury, advice?
Post by: Heather M. on July 28, 2004, 01:28:24 AM

You didn't mention what kind of injury your husband had, but it is possible that he tore his meniscus or took out a chunk of the articular cartilage that coats the bones in the knee joint and makes them move smoothly.  If there has been a mild tear, and then he did something to stress it, then the tear could have grown larger.  Or there could be a little piece of torn flesh in there floating around...when it's in an out of the way place, it's fine.  But if it moves to a place that is critical to the knee mechanics, your husband will be in a world of hurt.

Anyway, it is very possible to have a 'trick knee' for years or even decades.  And then one day it becomes incredibly painful; you think back and can't remember what you did to make it hurt.  This happened to me.  I'd had knee troubles diagnosed 18 years earlier, and that knee was always my weak point.  When I was backpacking around Australia and New Zealand, I remember begging restaurants for ice to put on my knee....When I was 31 I was working out daily, doing Yoga, hiking 3-4 days a week on rough trails and hills.  I'd had to give up running 5 years earlier--too much pain--and there was a whole list of things at the gym that made my knee hurt.  But in May of 2001, I hyper-extended my knee doing Yoga.  It hurt, but nothing I couldn't deal with.  Then a month later I woke up with really sharp, aching pain.  It got worse and worse, despite rest and icing and advil.  I babied it for months--even gave up hiking and walking my dog!  I tried to think what I could have done that was so bad--maybe it was that 9 mile hike?  Or stepping sharply off the curb chasing my runaway beagle?  Turns out it was the Yoga move--when I hyper-extended I nipped off a piece of meniscus in a very strange place.  It simmered and sulked for a few months, but come August I couldn't bend the knee without pain.

The only one who can figure out what is going on in your husband's knee is an orthopedic surgeon, preferrably one with a focus on sports medicine.  Try to get him in there as soon as possible, because when someone is having trouble bending the knee it's a sign that the joint needs immediate attention.  The treatment may be PT, anti-inflammatories or other treatments, so don't assume the worst that he needs surgery.  Find out a diagnosis (it may take a while with tests and such) and then do some research on the condition.

Now it may be that your husband's knee calms back down with no further interventions.  Kind of like a ticking time bomb.  But that doesn't mean the joint is healthy.

Here is some information on the more common knee conditions, hopefully it will help explain a bit about anatomy and what potentially is going on:

This is assuming you've already read through the kneeguru site information:

Be sure to click through each of the tabs in the Steadman Hawkins links--it goes through the entire process from diagnosis to treatment to recovery, all in very easy to understand non-technical language.

Title: Re: Mystery knee injury, advice?
Post by: soniaj on July 28, 2004, 10:25:31 AM
Thank you for the very helpful info. I will go through the info on the websites. Your description sounds like it could be what he's dealing with now, and hopefully it will improve by itself, for awhile at least, since he's currently without insurance and between jobs! :-/