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Author Topic: Old knee injury causing instability, pain, locking  (Read 2444 times)

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Offline erinpaul

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Old knee injury causing instability, pain, locking
« on: August 21, 2012, 05:12:36 AM »
My apologies in advance for the long story.. thank you! :)

I am 24 years old and have an old injury that is causing me almost daily problems with instability, not tracking properly, and occasionally severe pain.
The first time I ever injured it was in 6th grade, jumping off playground equipment. Foot slid forwards with leg straight, knee went numb and I told the playground aides I thought I sprained it. They all told me you can't sprain a knee. My folks weren't too concerned as I could still run and all, so I never saw a doc. No major problems, but a few times a year afterwards the knee would give out if I stepped wrong and I'd fall.

Second time was freshman or sophmore year of highschool during track practice. We were sprinting back and forth across the gym. I was slowing down from the sprint and heard a loud POP. The girls running next to me said they heard it too. As soon as it happened I fell to the ground. It hurt so unbelievably bad, I couldn't walk out of the gym without help. Went to the doctors within an hour. He jerked and yanked my leg around in various ways and made me scream but said he couldn't see anything for sure because it was so swollen. Sent me home in a full leg brace and crutches and had me get an x-ray which showed nothing. Went back after the swelling had gone down and he diagnosed it as patellarfemoral pain syndrome and gave me a brace and some exercises to do, part of which I could not complete for quite a while due to pain. After a month or so I could walk without pain but it would still go out on me occasionally and I'd fall. It felt numb at first and painful for a few days after every time it "went out" but I didn't think much of it.

Now, my knee has been frequently getting stuck. If I stand with legs straight and lean against something, like a bed or car bumper, something feels funny in my knee and I suddenly can't bend it fully. Other things that make it feel wrong are getting in and out of cars, side leg lifts, rolling in bed, and sometimes just walking. I can feel something come out of place in the outer side of my knee and have learned ways to get it to go back in. it feels like it comes out from behind the kneecap, but the kneecap still feels like it is in the right spot. It isnt too painful unless the leg is forced to bend while the thing is in the way. Sometimes the leg gets stuck bent and I can't fully straighten it. When this happens I feel severe sharp pain under and to the outside of the kneecap if I flex my quad while the leg is straight. Lately it has been making the inside of my knee hurt also, and I've never felt pain there.

Sorry again for the long post, and I hope I made sense. I'm wondering if I might have torn something back in highschool, and if I could be injuring my knee further everytime it "goes out". I never got an MRI done because no one seemed to think it that serious and funds were low growing up. If I do have a tear, would surgery still be an option for this old of an injury? I do not like the idea of going under the knife, but I'm worried I could be doing even more damage by ignoring something serious. Or, I could be stressing for nothng, lol. Thats what happens when you google injuries. Thanks in advance for any advice! :)
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 06:55:45 AM by erinpaul »

Offline Vickster

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Re: Old knee injury causing instability, pain, locking
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2012, 08:18:06 AM »
People here, based on their experience, could provide a few ideas of what it *might* be, but best go see a doctor for a proper hands on expert examination and it certainly sounds like you should do so - any loud pop suggests something may have been damaged.  Get an XRay, MRI, whatever the doctor requires, if you are able to afford it, or are insured.

Good luck :)
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Offline erinpaul

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Re: Old knee injury causing instability, pain, locking
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2012, 01:38:19 PM »
Thanks for your reply. I looked up what would be covered (finally have health insurance thru my school) and even with insurance, whew, spendy! They'll cover the xray completely, but an MRI I would still have to pay a large chunk of, probably have to save up a few months. Still, I am at least going to have the doc look at it again and see what he reccommends so I can get a plan in action. If my other knee went out, I'd be screwed. Thanks again :)

Offline allyd

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Re: Old knee injury causing instability, pain, locking
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2012, 03:24:14 PM »
I agree with vickster, many can start guessing whats wrong based on your description, but it would be just a guess.

So, Yes, definitely go see a doctor, get some simply xray imaging, etc. Try to see an Ortho doc, not just a general or family practitioner if possible. You’ll get more answers for your money. You’ll be surprised at how much a doctor can tell you without an MRI. In my book, a good doc doesn’t need the MRI to know what’s wrong with your knee. For what it’s worth, I put off an MRI for two years after my initial injury… and it didn’t really affect my diagnosis from my doc.
04/09 RK - Dislocated Patella & Grade III MCL Tear
06/10 RK - Re-Dislocation Patella
09/11 RK - MPFLr + Lateral Lengthening