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Author Topic: Knee popped - not sure how bad it is???  (Read 10029 times)

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Offline zaiem

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Knee popped - not sure how bad it is???
« on: May 19, 2009, 01:39:58 PM »
On Sunday I was doing my karate grading and during the sparring I threw my weght back and hadnt planted my rigjht foot (front leg) properly when I immediately threw my weight forward again.

My knee collapsed, inwards I think, and I heard a pop - there was no contact.  I went down straight away and let out a little yelp.  I kept my knee bent and then after about 30 seconds the sensei asked me to straighten my leg - although it was slow and a slight pain I managed it.
I managed to get up and hobble to a chair - there was no discernible pain, just discomfort.  But when I did get up I found myself unwilling to put any weight on my right leg.  when I did plant my foot it gave way towards the inside.

I got home and spent the next 4-5 hours doing RICE and seemed to feel much better.  Got up in the morning and it was really stiff and quite uncomfortable to move, although hardly any swelling.  I went to the walk in clinic and the nurse said it looked like a sprain.

SInce then I have kept RICEing and wearing a knee support when moving around - it does feel a bit better at day 2, but the swelling has come up now on the outside of the knee cap and sometimes on the inside. 

I am getting a good range of movement - inc circular at the knee, but a lot of stiffness and slight pain when attempting to bend my leg all the way back- that when the swelling to the outside of knee cap becomes more pronounced - its like a small squash ball.

I am getting concerned now though that I need to see my Dr and insist on a more throught examination - Am I right in thinking I should wait until all swelling has subsided?

Any advice or reassurance gratefully appreciated.
Thanks
Z

Offline cboden51

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Re: Knee popped - not sure how bad it is???
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2009, 07:46:43 PM »
If you are able to get around without significant pain and your knee isn't giving out you probably won't cause any harm in waiting. I think you may be right that the swelling is causing the stiffness. The advantage of going in (assuming you can get in quickly) is that the doctor can take a good look, do the manual tests and determine if xrays and\or an MRI are in order. If you have to wait for some time for an appointment to see a doctor, you could make it and then cancel if you find that things return to normal.
Connie

Offline ledzep790

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Re: Knee popped - not sure how bad it is???
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2009, 06:51:29 PM »
I'm not sure, but it sounds like your kneecap shifted out for a second, and came back into place (subluxation).  I had this happen to me four months ago, again with no contact causing the injury.  I 'planted' my leg and this happened.  I went to the Dr. immediately, took an MRI and waited for the results.  Sure enough, the results showed a tiny tear in the cartilage.  My Dr. recommended PT.

I was in and out of PT for 4 months, with occasional flare-ups.  These flare-ups led me directly to surgery, where the surgeon found I had worse cartilage damage than the MRI showed.   Grade IV cartilage damage (the worst possible) was diagnosed, and there was also bleeding inside of the knee.  I STRONGLY recommend that you seek treatment ASAP, as a little "pop" can do a lot, especially if it's continuing to be an issue.  I wasn't in too much pain either, so don't always let pain be the judge of your injury.

Hope all goes well for you.

Offline zaiem

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Re: Knee popped - not sure how bad it is???
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2009, 10:34:12 PM »
Thanks guys that is useful advice

I'm now at 72+ hrs after the injury and have been doing RICE, but still staying quite mobile.

Still a wierd feeling in the knee, but it does feel much better and I am able to bend it further back.

What I have noticed today is that I am:
1. getting a pull/tension on the outer cartlidge;
2. just at the top of the knee where the quads meet the knee - it gets very tight and stiff
3. when I do bend my leg backwards (using hamstrings) about 3 times is enough for it to feel very tiring on my leg
4.  There does seem to be pronounced swelling or fluid around the knee cap when I bend my leg backwards
5.  my left knee is now feeling uncomfortable - more of a sharp annoying pain

I am planning to see the Dr tomorrow and will be insisting for a referral for Ortho.  I am 40 and have only recently started to try and get active again, and would be gutted if thsi injury puts me out for a more than a few weeks.
Thanks again guys - I am finding this site and forum to be of great info. :)

Offline iheartparker

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Re: Knee popped - not sure how bad it is???
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2009, 02:52:10 AM »
Hey there, sorry to hear about your injury.

I am no doctor, but to me it sounds like a classic ACL tear. Is your knee feeling unstable?

Ive torn BOTH of my ACLS and both times I felt and heard a pop. followed by swelling, and instabilty.

Definately see an OS, if its your ACL they will be able to tell just by doing a phsical test.

Good luck!
6-21-07 : ACLR/Partial Meniscectomy of the Medial Meniscus (Righty)
2-25-09 : Had a good fall skiing, knee popped! :( (Lefty)
4-14-09 : OS appt
4-20-09 MRI confirmed torn ACL
5-19-09 ACL reconstruction
12-26-10 sucessfully returned to skiing!!!

Offline ledzep790

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Re: Knee popped - not sure how bad it is???
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2009, 09:05:55 AM »
What I have noticed today is that I am:
1. getting a pull/tension on the outer cartlidge;
2. just at the top of the knee where the quads meet the knee - it gets very tight and stiff
3. when I do bend my leg backwards (using hamstrings) about 3 times is enough for it to feel very tiring on my leg
4.  There does seem to be pronounced swelling or fluid around the knee cap when I bend my leg backwards
5.  my left knee is now feeling uncomfortable - more of a sharp annoying pain

Could be a multitude of things.  The stiffness by your quad is most likely the guarding of the muscles.  If your body detects an injury, your muscles automatically guard the area by tightening up.  This prevents you from further injuring the affected area.  Sharp pain usually deals with ligaments, but it's really anyone's guess at what you did until you get an MRI.  And even then, an MRI can miss things (as was the case with mine).  Hopefully you'll be able to diagnose your injury early and heal quickly.

Good luck w/ the Dr.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2009, 09:07:49 AM by ledzep790 »

Offline zaiem

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Re: Knee popped - not sure how bad it is???
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2009, 06:26:29 PM »
Guys sorry for the belated update...

I saw teh Dr on Thurs and I was really lucky - she was an A&E Dr covering GP surgery.  ANd she was a bit of a knee geek,as well as also being a karate student.

SHe sepnt a whil asking about the in and outs of how I got the injury.  Then she asked to see the knee - and at first glance she picked up bursitis above the kneecap on the inside.  She didnt detect any injury to the MCL, but did note the swelling at the ACL.  After this cursory glance she was able to tell me that I had rotated the knee, which at that point I realised what had actually happened when I got the injury.  My knee had collapsed inward and then come back very fast the other way, as the ACL protested and brought knee back - this caused a bit of 'whiplash' to the otherisde of my knee.

Then she moved me over to assess the extent of the damage to the ACL - which I made difficult for her as I was unwilling to relax my leg.  Fianlly she checked for laxity in the lateral ligaments, did the anterior drawer test, and checked out the cruciates.

The diagnosis was laxity in the ligaments as they had been overstretched by the injury, cruciates fine, and ACL strained but no rupture nor tear.  I did trust this DR's diagnosis as she had made it clear form teh start that she was goign to take her time and be very thorough before she arrived at any prognosis.

Boy was I relieved.  SHe seaid to keep up the RICE for at least 2 weeks and then to reassess how the injury was reacting.  She said I should be OK to ease back into the karate as long as I continued to protect the knee for a few more weeks and take it easy on the activity that would put a lot more pressure on the ACL.

SHe has ruled out football and cycling for a lot longer.

Today I have to say I do feel much better although there is still some swelling and fluid - the DR said it wasnt too pronounced.

As well as the RICE I have started on supplements - Glucosamine Sulphate and Collagen - to augment the fiish oils, multivits and vitamin C I was already taking.

Thanks to all who replied and the PM - your help and and advice is much appreicated.
Z