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Author Topic: Knee hasn't straightened in 9 weeks  (Read 774 times)

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Offline mom2three

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Knee hasn't straightened in 9 weeks
« on: July 11, 2014, 01:55:57 AM »
Hi everyone- I am new here, wondering if anyone has been through the same issue I am having. I am a former ballet dancer and my knees have hurt off and on since I was 16. (In my 30's now) 9 weeks ago I squatted down at the store to pick up something my child dropped and something went haywire in my knee. It seemed to pop and hurt, but I could finish my shopping. Iced it at home. Got worse overnight and I woke up with a very swollen knee that I couldn't straighten. 3 doctors, 8 weeks of PT and it still won't straighten. (It's not just a little bent , it's bent to where it's difficult to walk w/out crutches and when I do my back starts to really hurt- a back I have no problems with normally- because I am walking very strangely. I have to tip toe on the bent knee to be able to move around.) The MRI is clean except for some osteoarthritis (but not too bad) and a lot of fluid and now a baker's cyst. I have had the knee drained (ouch) and 2 cortisone shots in 2 different areas of my knee. I am on Mobic, an anti-inflammatory, daily. I do the PT exercises daily, ice, rest (moving is hard so that's no problem) I am always in varying stages of pain and discomfort. I feel so much pressure in the knee also. It's an odd feeling. My ankle is swelling off and on now too. I assume the fluid has no place to go or I'm walking strangely and it's aggravated. The ankle doesn't hurt. First ortho was dismissive. I've been told it's synovitis (treatment didn't work) and the second ortho thought it was maybe "reactive pain syndrome", and wanted me to go to pain management.The symptoms don't really fit at all, not sure why he felt that way. The last ortho had me initially hopeful, but when I followed up all I got was a script for more PT and a temp handicapped parking pass application. I just want to straighten my leg! I have 3 very bored kiddos, all of whom are still pretty young. I can't shop for groceries or anything we need, stairs are very difficult, housework is way behind, I can't exercise the way I like to (which really brings up my mood)... this is really getting to me. Lots of tears and frustration. It seems very hopeless and insurance may not pay for exploratory surgery....sigh. I won't take walking for granted again! If anyone has any experiences or thoughts... please share them. Thanks so much!

Offline greatfulgann

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Re: Knee hasn't straightened in 9 weeks
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2014, 03:55:02 PM »
Did any of them mention a meniscus tear? When you squatted do you remember if you rotated at all? Meniscus tears are not always visible on MRI.  Also the swelling is indicative that something isn't right.  After what you have done,  I dont understand why insurance wouldn't cover a scope of the knee? 

Offline MDAL

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Re: Knee hasn't straightened in 9 weeks
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2014, 05:33:23 PM »
I agree with the post above, baker cyst, fluids and so on, a meniscal tear could be a possibility, and they don't always show in the MRI...

However, it could be many things as well... if things keep going for too long the way they are, then you have no other choice but to have a scope done.

Regarding the lack of extension, that is also a sign that something is very wrong. When you have some deep trauma in the knee, you tend to have a synovial membrane inflammation, you can consider this as command center that tells everything around to lock your knee.

This can be fought through physio in spite of the other stuff to stretch it, and perhaps you should be using a straight brace. What kind of exercises have you been doing in physio?

Offline mom2three

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Re: Knee hasn't straightened in 9 weeks
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2014, 04:49:25 PM »
I have been doing all sorts of quad strengthening and hamstring and hip flexor stretching. They have a "knee extender" they put me in and put some weighted hot packs on the knee for the weight and heat to effect it. It is very painful and has had very few results. I feel like the little bit of movement I have picked up is from relaxing the quad and calf. The joint itself doesn't move any more than it did 2 months ago.

The drs have said synovitis, but have no "fix" to offer, it seems to be the diagnosis of elimination. I do have a moderate baker's cyst, but it didn't show up until about a month into the "lock" began.The Dr thought it was b/c the fluid had no place else to go so it formed.

I think a meniscal tear seems likely too, but w/out the MRI confirming it seems to be dismissed by the docs. I go back Thursday and hope they can come up with something to justify to the insurance a scope. (our insurance is very particular about just about everything it seems!) The docs have all told me they'd like to take a conservative approach.  Which sounds all well and good, but it has been just too long. The pain level escalated this week for no reason I can tell. I am concerned, but I feel like a hypochondriac when I leave their offices. It seems as though the swelling and locked position isn't such a big deal to anyone but me!
 
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 04:53:36 PM by mom2three, Reason: grammer »