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Author Topic: Another "help me diagnose my knee / leg problem" thread  (Read 904 times)

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Offline blizz81

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Another "help me diagnose my knee / leg problem" thread
« on: July 23, 2014, 09:04:50 PM »
Hello all -

Will try to be informative yet concise.  I'm knock-kneed and have been able to do strange flexibility things with my legs all my life.  Hyperextended my right knee around age 13 when my foot was asleep and I tried walking on it anyways...since then I have had some general pain and stiffness in that knee, pretty minor. 

Not sure if since then, but as long as I can remember, if I'm on my knees and put weight down / make movements in certain ways, I've gotten my leg to a state where it feels like something rolls out of place / catches.  If I put weight down on it in this state it is pretty painful and I can't really bear much weight on it.  If I slowly straighten my leg all the way straight, something will loudly pop, I feel things shift, and it's generally fine immediately after that.  I play goalie (ice hockey) and have had it happen time and time again as I have been in the butterfly position on my knees moving around, and for all except one time, I was able to pop it back and immediately resume playing with no harm done.

In Nov I was skating (not goalie) and innocuously fell on the ice lightly "banging" that knee, was wearing shin guards.  Nothing major, but my leg felt somewhat cold / numb from the knee after I got up.  Finished the skate ok, but later that night I could barely walk - felt like something was pinching when I put more than a touch of weight on the leg.  More or less got better within a week's time.

However, since then, if I have activity similar to the old "pop" scenario, I'll feel something roll out like before, but now I can't straighten my leg and have it "pop", and it feels like the pinching where I can't put weight on it.  I go from a pretty bad limp and taking each stair one leg at a time within I'd say 24 hours of the occurrence to being mostly fine about 4-5 days later.  Outside of this, as long as I don't aggravate it, I don't have any problems outside of my years-long minor stiffness.  The pain is worse with rotation of the leg and is largely slightly below the knee to the outside, and on the back side of the knee. 

One time when I did this at hockey again, I walked around on the bench for a couple minutes and felt something shift and I was immediately able to put weight down on it again fine and go on skating - did not feel like an obvious "pop" as before, and this was after straightening the leg a few times with no pop.

Went to an ortho, they said it was simply inflammation in the joint between the tibia and fibula and the muscles attached.  Did PT with some ultrasound therapy and exercises, we couldn't really replicate the occurrence in PT but through exercises eventually it would bring up some of the pain I feel below the knee to the outside, but not too bad.

After PT for about 4 weeks and waiting another couple weeks doing exercises on my own, I tried playing hockey again.  This was about 6-7 months after the initial "injury".  Skated 4 times with no major problems, maybe some minor pain in the joint.  Tried goalie once, same thing - could feel some pain but minor.  Goalie second time, made a movement and felt the pinch again and was back to as bad as it ever was. 

Went back to doc, had MRI done, he says my leg is perfect and there's just some inflammation, off to PT again with a specific recommendation for cortisol gel + ultrasound and more stretches.  Seems to me they're responding to the symptom / that inflammation is there, but it's being caused by something popping / shifting out of place, etc.  Best the doc could think of was knee cap popping out of place, but when the "pop" would happen, I would definitely feel it in the back of the leg.  I think being as knock-kneed as I am, my legs are kind of far away from "normal" and they're missing something.  Any ideas to suggest as I seek more opinions / more $ for doctors to tell me it's all in my head?  Thanks for the read!

Offline LAS

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Re: Another "help me diagnose my knee / leg problem" thread
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2014, 01:08:17 AM »
Catching and popping can be a meniscus tear.  The shifting in your knee could be a fluid buildup and patella damage.  This should show up on MRI but sometimes meniscus tears don't.  Lots of the time lateral or medial tears will give you referred pain to the back of the knee.  With all of your symptoms I should think at least one thing would show up.  Physical therapy isn't helping so I would get another opinion at the very least.   LAS