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Author Topic: Knee popping out! Help!  (Read 1412 times)

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Offline CBrown

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Knee popping out! Help!
« on: September 14, 2007, 09:03:56 PM »
I just found this site and I'm hoping that someone can help me.  I've had a knee "issue" for some time now and can't figure out what is going on.  I've researched it on the web, and can't get a good handle on what the problem is.

I'm without insurance right now and am reluctant to go to a doctor for a diagnosis.

The problem I've been having is that my right knee occaisionally "pops out".  Specifically, if I rotate my lower leg out, i.e. when the ankle turns out and the toes turn in, the knee will often "pop out".  (I hope that description is clear)  This is much more likely to happen if there is any stress on the knee.  If I squat down with my ankle under my bottom, it is almost guaranteed to happen unless I am VERY careful not to rotate the ankle out the slightest bit.

When the knee is "out", I can still move my lower leg, although with some pretty substantial pain.  I cannot straighten the leg completely and it will bear no weight.  "Popping" the knee back in requires that the leg be forcefully straightened completely, by standing up and snapping the leg down in a sort of kicking motion.  I can sometimes assist things by straddling the achilles tendon of the affected leg between the big toe and the toe next to it of my left leg and pulling down on the ankle at the same time as I am making the snapping/kicking motion.

When it goes back in, there is an audible "pop" and instant relief from the pain.

In most cases it goes back in fairly readliy, but several months ago it did not, and was out for several hours until it came back in of its own accord.  While it was out I did not detect any symptoms of restricted bloodflow to the lower leg, and I was watching carefully for that.

I am 45 years old and in good overall shape.  I walk a lot, and spend a great deal of time hiking and tramping around in wilderness areas, often alone.  It's come out a couple of times while doing this, but there's never been a problem getting it back in.  If there were I would be in a bit of trouble.

Any ideas what this might be?  Should I look at getting some kind of brace for use when on extended walks?  I've been doing some excersizes but it's hard to say if they are helping as I can make the thing come out any time I want to, not that I want to.
Any suggestions on what I can do until I can afford the see a doctor?

Apologies for the long post, and thanks in advance for any help, opinions or advice.

Steve


Offline jathib

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Re: Knee popping out! Help!
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2007, 09:10:36 PM »
Well, first, stop squatting down and doing things that cause your knee to "pop out". Every time you cause yourself pain you are causing more damage. To quote my doctor, "If it hurts, you're hurting it".

That being said, no matter what anyone's guess is, you need to see a doctor. Self-diagnosis will not help at all and may also cause more injury.

Offline tanyap

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Re: Knee popping out! Help!
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2007, 11:08:45 AM »
hi cbrown,
it sounds from your description that your kneecap is subluxing. at least - it sounds like what happens my knee when it subluxes.

i would strongly advise you see a doctor. Jathib is absolutely correct - if it hurts you are hurting it!!!

you may also find if you do not address this that over time your brain performs 'muscle guarding' and you start to lose muscle on your quads. That has happened me - my VMO was completely invisible 3 months ago and is only starting to make an appearance now with a lot of physio.

Like you I ignored it for a long time. I lived a pretty ordinary life and got used to the odd 'pop' out. Ignoring it has led to a lot of problems for me.

Do see a doctor - you need a diagnosis.
Regards
Tanya
1986 - recurrent dislocations of right patella began
1988 - Modified Hauser Procedure
1991 - dislocations started again
2005 to 2007 - 150 dislocations in 2 years - OUCH!!!
June 2007 - new OS, new physio
Oct 2007 - VMO woke up
Mar 2008 - big quads, still dislocating
Apr 2008 - next OS app

Offline CBrown

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Re: Knee popping out! Help!
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2007, 09:55:41 PM »
Thank you, Tanya.

I'll go when I can

Offline Natalie.D

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Re: Knee popping out! Help!
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2007, 07:18:14 PM »
Hi CBrown,

I agree with the others, I had both left and right subluxing patellas for years, I ignored the problem and learned to live with it - that was the worst thing I could have done, each time the patella subluxes damage is being done to the cartilage on the underside of the patella which can eventually cause osteoarthritis, as it did in my case and before you know it you're knee can be a real painful mess.  Until you can make it to the doctor try perhaps wearing a knee brace that will help keep the patella in place, try avoiding the things that make it pop out and try to strengthen up your quads which will also help keep the kneecap in place.  Good luck.

Natalie.
Dislocations since age 12
Trochlear Dysplasia
Maltracking
Hypermobile
LR/MR-failed
TTT, LR, MR L knee 95-Success
TTT, LR, MR R 02-Success
Screws out
Partial tear ACL
Severe end stage OA
4 Debridements
Partial Meniscectomy
Failed Microfracture
11mm Defect LFC
Bone Spurs, Kissing Lesions

Offline tanyap

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Re: Knee popping out! Help!
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2007, 09:35:38 AM »
Hi Natalie,
Im so glad you mentioned that you just learned to live with it. I think a lot of people do that. My OS behaved as though I had a loose screw in the head when he discovered Id been ignoring my subluxes for years!!! But realistically every time it happened and i DID see an OS (in the public health system) I just got the same old 'we dont want to do another surgery' so I just stopped going!!

I think if Id been educated a long time ago they way I have been educated most recently by my OS I would not have the problems I have today. Hindsight is a wonderful thing :)
Tanya
1986 - recurrent dislocations of right patella began
1988 - Modified Hauser Procedure
1991 - dislocations started again
2005 to 2007 - 150 dislocations in 2 years - OUCH!!!
June 2007 - new OS, new physio
Oct 2007 - VMO woke up
Mar 2008 - big quads, still dislocating
Apr 2008 - next OS app

Offline EMTSgirlfriend

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Re: Knee popping out! Help!
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2007, 08:53:54 AM »
I'm also glad to hear someone say they just learned to live with it! But CBrown, I would also add that maybe you should stop going on your walks until you see a doctor.  Everything that's been said previous to this is 100% correct, and all I want to do is put another emphasis on how knee issues like subluxing is degenerative. It gets worse each time it happens, and if you keep ignoring it, one day it won't pop right back. Admittedly dotors are expensive, but maybe you could find one that would accept a payment plan.  Whatever you have to do, you really shouldnt' wait any longer....

Good Luck!

Julie
Live everyday with hope!

Offline notwla

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Re: Knee popping out! Help!
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2008, 09:59:49 PM »
I'm having the same problem. Did you ever get a doc to look at it?

Offline austinknee

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Re: Knee popping out! Help!
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2008, 11:48:25 PM »
Not having insurance is the pits when you are in pain.....are you in the US and do you live near a teaching medical center?  I only know about our system in Austin....and with Obstetrics.....BUT.....we have a medical teaching program for OB/GYN here....they have a clinic system that the residents learn at.......BUT....the residents are TAUGHT by some of the best doctors in town. The resident physician does your exam, then the teaching doctor does your exam too...... They use a sliding scale system there.....so, you could see if that is available anywhere near you....maybe you could at least get a start there.    Also, don't be afraid to ask them for help. In our office.....we offer payment plans....we offer discounts for certain situations....etc.

There are lots of braces for knees available out there...but as the others have said...if you are not really sure what you are doing with one you might just encourage your leg to get too dependent on the brace and you  might lose all your strength.  Lots of us pop out and subluxate on this site....but none of us seem to do it the same...

hope that helps.
LR 11/2006
LR Reconstruction scheduled 2/08















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