The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: beckett on August 20, 2004, 05:08:19 AM

Title: Swollen and painful knee - what is it?
Post by: beckett on August 20, 2004, 05:08:19 AM

I am new to the board. I have been suffering with a swollen and painful left knee since last November. I have had an X ray which shows no damage to the bone and an MRI scan which shows no damage to meniscus. I have seen an orthapedic surgeon and a rhemotologist and they have both said that it is a mystery.
All tests I have shown no signs of any arthritis. The doctors say that I have a build up of synovial fluid in the knee but they do not know why my knee is producing all the fluid.

The only thing that I can think of that may have triggered my knee is that last August I felt onto my knee on a stone floor - my knee was bruised but did not swell at the time. It seemed to heal and then three months later it became very swollen and had shooting pains within in as if they were coming from under the knee cap.

My knee is not swollen and painful all the time but it becomes  becomes swollen and painful if I do any exercise at all (for example I went to a leisurely 3km walk the other day and the next day the knee was so swollen and painful that I couldn't walk on it). When my knee is not swollen it is very stiff and I get little twinges of pain in it.

The swelling appears all around the knee but in particular I get a sort of egg shaped swelling at the top front of the right of the knee. I don't have any other symptoms other than the shooting pains and swelling.

I sit with my leg elevated at work all day and use cold packs to try to reduce the swelling. I wear a compression bandage on it and take anti-inflammatories. I have the synovial fluid drained from my knee on two occassions and I had a steroid injection in the knee which made the knee better for about 3 weeks but then it came back again.

If anyone has any ideas on what could possibly be wrong with my knee or any tips on how to manage the problem, that would be great.

Title: Re: Swollen and painful knee - what is it?
Post by: LucyC on August 20, 2004, 11:50:14 PM
hi Beckett,
welcome to the board, I haven't been around for a while and have just been reading the posts every now and then but your post looked very similar to what i went through yrs ago...see my post "Help! First time Synovectomy" under the "KNEE ARTHRITIS - Clearing inflamed joint lining" section, rather than i tell you all that happened to me originally, and see if that helps you. I was told too that i had no sign of arthritis and the swelling was just triggered  from a riding accident but it was then discovered by a rheumatologist that it was infact a type of inflammatory arthritis which can just be temporary and has a negative rheumatoid factor (i.e. blood tests show no signs of arthritis). 3 operations later and i'm finally cured..however i don't want to scare you, it took ages for the doctors to diagnose what was happening in my knee and one botch operation which meant i had to change surgeons and have drastic major open knee surgery to repair the damage and remove all the swelling so it could never happen again.

My advice to you at this stage is to get as many different opinions as you can from not only doctors, but orthopaedic surgeons and as it is an inflammation issue a rheumatologist (since they are best equipped with the knowledge to deal with swollen joints, more so sometimes than docs or surgeons even if no arthritis is present), I would hate for you to go through what i went through...a long long wait. most docs won't mind you taking second opinions since its in the interest of your health for you to understand whats going on with your knee.

i used to have my knee drained but it wasn't a long term solution neither was anti-inflammatories or steroid injections, it only seemed to put off the, but i have heard from other girls at my surgery that they only needed special drugs to cure their knees.

I hope i make sense and i hope after reading my other post it helps, I was 18 when my knee started swelling after a riding accident and i'm 24 now..thats a long time to be correctly diagnosed!!

good luck with everything, let me know how it goes

Title: Re: Swollen and painful knee - what is it?
Post by: beckett on August 23, 2004, 03:25:58 PM
Thanks very much for this Lucy. I've read your other posts and they are really helpful. Our conditions seem very similar. I have an appoinment with a rheumatologist next week and will see if he thinks I could have some form of inflammatory arthtitis.

Title: Re: Swollen and painful knee - what is it?
Post by: Teresa_S on August 23, 2004, 10:00:14 PM
HI, Also please remember that a negative MRI reading doesn't mean that there is not something wrong> I had two mris that said everything was intact, no fracture, ! not tears nothing. On a scope, they found a femoral medial condyle fracture, lateral and medial meniscus tears, pcl in shreds, and popiteal cyst. A couple of months later another mri and the report reads the exact same as the op report, Imagine that!! Teresa