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Author Topic: Help please - severe left knee pain when standing but tests clear  (Read 4402 times)

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Offline c2011

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Hi

I’m a first time poster. I seem to be getting nowhere with a diagnosis for my knee problem and I was very much hoping someone might be able to recognise the symptoms and shine a light on the issue. Like many people on here I find the help out there for people with knee problems is very limited but I have to keep fighting as I desperately want to get back to a normal life.

To cut a very long story short, I am in my early 30s and had an arthroscopy in December 2008 to debride cartilage on my right knee. Unfortunately the recovery went really badly due to excessive pain to the point I could no longer weight bear or walk. I was re-referred to the hospital but whilst waiting at home 11 weeks for an MRI scan and then diagnosis with no treatment at all, I lost most of my muscle strength and the problem just exacerbated. I was then on crutches for a further 3 months whilst I learned to walk again and slowly started to rebuild the surrounding muscle. Due to the pain progress was slow and after hydrotherapy and a hospital physio lower limb exercise class for several months, I still had a very weak right leg muscle which couldn’t fully support the knee. I continued with physio exercises in the gym and finally managed to get the pain under control. It was at this point following a session where I had tried basic hopping and jogging movements on both legs, that I felt a sudden pain in my left (previously healthy) knee that I thought would go away. That was in February 2010 and I have been trying ever since to resolve the problem with my left knee as the pain has overtaken the right knee, which I now have to rely on as my “strong” knee, and is having a debilitating impact on my everyday activities.

I have undertaken private physio for several months to build the muscle in both legs but with little reduction in left knee pain. I have tried various treatments from oral hyaluronic acid, glucosamine and Chondroitin, arch supports, cycling in the gym, NSAIDs, to devil’s claw gel but with little success. Recently I have tried taping and increased icing, as well as the tens machine and they give me some relief but I can’t apply all of these whilst on the move or at work. I also wear tubigrip on both knees constantly which helps a bit.

Initially I had pain sitting, walking, on stairs and standing but now the left knee pain is not so bad sitting for short periods but if I stand still for literally just 2 minutes, an aching pain below the knee cap and towards the inside comes on almost immediately and then every activity I do from that point on is really painful (aching). Carrying weights eg shopping also brings on immediate pain. Periodically I also get an acute pain in the area of the medial meniscus (about an inch down inside the knee joint on the medial side of the knee) which is sensitive to the touch when pushed and is absolute agony but thankfully the taping has made this come on less frequently.

Walking is painful but bearable when the knee is not stirred up but not being able to stand still is really affecting me as I have to replan my whole life to avoid standing. Travelling on the tube when I won’t get a seat is agony, I can’t queue for things and even standing still for a few minutes to wash up or cook is a painful experience. My latest physio suggested it may be an inflamed fat pad but the hospital consultant wasn’t convinced. Unfortunately my MRI only showed a “small knee effusion” and nothing else, so he has no idea what is wrong. I was also seen by another doctor who could not make a diagnosis. I am now awaiting a bone SPECT but have been told if this shows up nothing, there is nothing more the hosptial can do. I have realised over the last 2 years how complex the knee joint is but I was hoping the symptoms would be able to provide some clue as to what could be wrong and how I can begin to alleviate the pain whilst on the waiting list. If anybody has had a similar experience and has finally achieved a diagnosis or pain relief I would be keen to hear. And good luck to all of those struggling with their own knee problems!

Offline Lottiefox

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Re: Help please - severe left knee pain when standing but tests clear
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2011, 10:36:01 PM »
Hi and welcome - many of your symptoms sound similar to mine...but my MRIs indicate chronically worn out kneecaps....you say you had a scope to debride cartilage, was that on the kneecap area? You may well be experiencing the joy that is that wonderul catch-all of patellofemoral syndrome (PFS) or anterior knee pain or whatever other meaningless label is placed on it. Basically it means your knees don't let you do what you want and you have to try and fathom a way to get them under control again. The rehab of hopping and jumping and the flare up sounds like a typical case of well intentioned physio being too much for a weak joint.

You might find this thread useful:

http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=53006.0

I hope you get some relief soon,

Lottie  :)

Bilateral patella OA since 2009, no surgeries.
Euflexxa working well x3 to current
Right forefoot CRPS post fusion surgery 2011
Refusing to let the ailing parts stop me....

Offline c2011

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Re: Help please - severe left knee pain when standing but tests clear
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2011, 11:55:21 PM »
Thanks, I'll check it out.

Ironically I had no surgery on the left knee which is causing me the trouble but I think it must have got strained from supporting the other knee for so long! If only we could go back in time!!

Offline Determined2Succeed

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Re: Help please - severe left knee pain when standing but tests clear
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2014, 02:14:22 AM »
Hi c2011,
Have you made any progress on this issue?  I have symptoms that seem similar.