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Author Topic: Knee locking up in bed (extremely painful) and clicking while walking  (Read 476 times)

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Offline melissamk1979

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For the past 3 years I have been having times where my knee will completely lock up, usually while I am in bed.  This locks at a 90 degree angle typically and is excruciatingly painful. When this happens I cannot even roll to the other side, I am stuck.  I usually pain through it and roll to my back and do everything I can to loosen it up.  It is like it wont even physically move outside of 90 degrees (straight or bending further), I try and pull it with my hands and it does nothing, except horrible pain.  After usually about an hour of massaging the knee and tears I can finally get it to open and close without any pain, like no pain at all...  like it never happened.  This usually only happens 5x/year. 

Could this be torn meniscus that is maybe floating around and sometimes locks up?   Also, over the past 3 weeks the same knee now clicks every time I step.  I am 39 years old, not overweight and somewhat active, play tennis.  Even growing up I always had some sort of knee issue, they would swell and every time I would squat down they would crack a lot.. loud enough for everyone in the room to hear. 

Because the locking is only occasional I haven't been to the doctor to have it looked at, wondering if it may be a good time to go now with the clicking too? 

Thank you! 

Offline vickster

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 Sounds like you should definitely see a knee specialist. Could be meniscus, arthritis, anything
Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09
LK arthroscopy 8/2/10
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Offline Geronimo

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most likely it's either cartilage damage (meniscus, patella etc.) or loose body. i think MRI might give you more info.

Offline LisaWilliams38

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First, I'm sorry to hear your struggling with this.....but I also wouldn't call this happening 5X a year as just "occasional." :(

My surgeon and I  have had this conversation several times--even just yesterday morning at a post-op visit!!!  ;)  Anytime there is catching/locking, it's almost always from a loose "object" in the joint, creating a mechanical problem. Mechanical problems are bad and lead to damage to other joint surfaces in your knee.  The clicking doesn't seem as concerning as the locking. I've had locking/catching 4-5X in the last 10 yrs--Sometimes while simply walking, but  at least 2 were going up/down stairs. I had it happen this last Feb. and April actually. Every time, this has always resulted in surgery, and it's usually the final straw while toughing out or trying to see if PT would help avoid another surgery (I've now had 10 in 19 yrs).

Don't laugh---but I actually had Microfracture surgery (with Biocartilage fill)  5 wks ago. It really sucks to get stuck on your stairs from the knee locking----while your husband is out of town----AND  when you have a young son to take care of.  :o  I worry one of these days, you're going to have this happen when you're NOT at home. :( Especially with the increase in noise/clicking.

If you start having issues with your quadricpes, just above the knee, you'll know it's time for surgery. It was a new symptom for methis time (very odd, after 9 other knee surgeries!!). The muscles just were not firing correctly. The area nearly "shut down" (for lack of a better phrase)  while I waited on the surgery date set for 3 wks out. By the day of surgery, my quad muscles were  painful to the touch and not "firing" correctly at all. My knee would hyper-extend for no reason, and stairs were impossible. I'm a die-hard "never miss a workout" person, but I had to completely stop everything except walking those last 3 weeks. Now I know this new symptom was due to a very large piece of articular cartilage broken off from my tibial plateau articular cartilage. I basically had a "pothole" on my lateral tibial condyle, and part of the pothole "stuff" had come out and was banging around in my knee. :(

Fast forward---At my post-op visit, the surgeon said  the loose body stuck in the joint was what surgeons describe as HUGE. :) That's why I was having such muscle shut-down----these types of mechanical problems lead directly to the muscles not firing correctly. Plus, it had banged around in there like a pinball, causing more articular cartilage damage and inflammation than I already knew existed from an MRI last Summer. There were so many floaties, he had to clean everything out before finding the main problems and figuring out what to do first (ha)!! :)

Then he proceeded to remind me if I want to keep putting off knee replacements on BOTH knees, we must  go after the loose pieces as soon as I suspect or get those same feelings of locking/catching/etc....I should be pretty good at it after 10 knee surgeries and 20 yrs. :)

I get tired of the 2-3 yr surgery cycle, but I also want to keep my own parts for a few more years.  He's done my last 6 procedures, and he's on the cutting edge of articular cartilage repair, so at least I'm blessed with a wonderful surgeon.

My final piece of advice---the longer a loose piece floats around in there, the more damage is being done to your OTHER joint surfaces. I've been the trooper who refused more surgery and said I'd wait and deal with it. That almost got my right knee replaced in 2015. Luckily, I go to this great surgeon I mentioned who performed a successful ACI procedure on that knee and bought me a few more years..but I don't EVER want to go through ACI again!!!! :(

« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 04:24:23 PM by LisaWilliams38 »
'98 R plica
'99 L resect discoid meniscus
'01 L  meniscus tear
'02 R  meniscus tear
'10, R meniscus tears, Bursectomy
'13, R 3 meniscus tears, Grd 3 Biocartilage fil
'15 R Oct-ACI harvest,
'15 R Dec-ACI implant
'16 R Mar-lysis of adhesions
'16 R Mar-MUA
'18 L 3 menis tears, Grade 4 Biocartilage fill