Question about pain in knee ~ Updated

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Kathy813, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi everyone,

    I was hoping someone could tell me what is going on with my knee. I fell last Monday after tripping over a curb in a parking lot. I went face down on the concrete walkway and tore up the side of my hand and banged my knees.

    Well, it is almost a week later and I still can't bend my left knee. I can walk without pain as long as I keep my leg straight. I can't bend it though or touch the top of the kneecap without intense pain. I also feel pressure inside my kneecap when I try to bend it.

    I kept thinking it would get better but I am starting to worry. Has anyone else ever had anything like this? The strange thing is that the knee looks fine. It isn't swollen or bruised that I can see. Nor did it get scratched up since I was wearing pants when I fell. It just hurts.

    I am tired of limping.

  2. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Kathy, sounds like you need to have some xrays done or at least see your doctor. A week is long enough to go without having it checked.

  3. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Definately see your doctor. The two things that pop out to me though would be some sort of ligament damage or blood/fluid build up behind your knee cap. Either way it needs checked out.
  4. kris

    kris New Member

    <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style='font-size: 17pt'> <span style="color: #6600CC"> time to give in & make an appointment with-your pcp. sounds like it's time for doctor to take a close look.

    kris </span> </span> </span>
  5. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks for the responses. Finding the time to go to the doctor without taking a day off of school is the issue. I tutor kids every night of the week except Wednesday and there is not enough time between school and tutoring to see the doctor.

    The other issue is that the orthopedist we usually use is on husband's plan and since he lost his job we are switching to my insurance at the end of the month. So I don't know whether to start with our usual orthopedist and switch doctors at the end of the month or to just try an orthopedist that is on both plans. I don't want to start with our primary care doctor since I think he will just send me on to an orthopedist and that will be two appointments instead of one.

    I really don't need this right now. I keep hoping that I will wake up and my knee will be back to normal. I guess a week is enough time to see that will probably not happen.

  6. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member

    You could have an avulsion fracture or a fractured knee cap. Tears of the menisci are possible too. It could be a badly bruised knee cap, too, but I'm suspecting you could have possible fractured the knee cap. Find an orthopedist in both plans. You will likely need to see him for several months, if it's a fracture.
  7. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I could have a fractured knee cap and still walk without pain? That is as long as I don't bend it. I would think it would be swollen and bruised and that I wouldn't be able to walk at all.

    Anyway, I decided to stop playing around with this and I am taking tomorrow off of school. I already have an appointment with an orthopedist that easy child used in the past that is on both plans.

  8. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    A torn meniscus could do that. A small peice of cartilage could be trapped inside the joint and depending on where in the joint it is trapped, it can cause problems with bending or straightening by obstructing the bones. This happened to me when I was 20 and I did not fall or anything, never did figure out HOW it tore. That was before there was arthroscopic surgery to reppair it (remove the offending cartilage)
    I had a nice long incision and months of PT. My brother did it in his 30s and had arthroscopic surgery and a short stint of PT. Neither of us had swelling or redness. No bruising. JUst could not bend (or straighten, if the broke off or shreddedpeice of cartilage moved just so)

    Good luck at docs!
  9. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member

    It depends on the fracture. If it's a chip fracture or a crack, then yes, you could walk around. If it was a comminuted fracture, that's a different story. You'd have likely been in the ER. My doctor has seen patients that walked around for weeks with an avulsion fracture in the ankle and although it was painful, they didn't realize there was a fracture.

    Glad you are taking off tomorrow to get this taken care of.
  10. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Just to clarify; an avulsion fracture is what happens when a bit of ligament or cartilage tears away and takes a bit of the bone it was attached to with it.

    Your sx are pretty consistent with a tear of the meniscus cartilage in the knee. These days it can be fixed neatly with an arthroscope and the surgery doesn't take long to recover from. Ignoring it for ages can lead to a nasty case of arthritis.


  11. needabreak

    needabreak New Member

    just wanted to say hope you feel better i know what it feels like when you cant walk.
  12. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks all for your wonderful information and concern.

    I went to the orthopedist today and got good news. The xrays are fine so nothing is broken. He could not rule out soft tissue damage though but said that he thinks that I really banged up the spot where the tendon meets the patella (whatever the heck that means).

    He said that it is possible that the tendon is partially torn but that it is definitely not torn in two since I can do straight leg raises very easily and I can bend and straighten the knee (with effort).

    He gave me a cortisone injection into my knee and wants me to start physical therapy to get me bending my knee again. I also go back in a week and if I'm not doing better at that point, he will have me get an MRI.

    The best news is that he said he didn't think surgery would be necessary because even if it is a partially torn tendon it would heal itself.

    I was so relieved because after watching easy child go through her knee surgery last summer I knew that it would be painful and take a while before I was up and about.

    While I was there, the doctor also diagnosed my chronic elbow pain as tennis elbow (although I don't play tennis) and will have me work on that during physical therapy also.

    I don't know how y'all with chronic pain and illnesses get through the day. This is definitely not fun!

  13. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I am not at all sure i would call how I lived for that few years as "getting thru the day" - I barely remember it .........the pain from the RA literally drove me out of my mind and there was noone home inside of me except a sobbing groaning who knows what for quite a long while. The possible negative side effects of the medications I am currently on are brutal, life threatening, BUT.......I am again here, and functional.
    (I was denied pain medications all along, but now do not even need any..LOL.............)

    Ya somehow manage to get thru what you need to get thru, thats all. I never figured out how there was any other choice, except suicide, but, I was not even able to go thru the motions required to do that. (altho I do vaguely recall begging my husband to kill me more than once)

    Heres wishing your PT goes great and the knee heals fine!!
    IIRC cartliage does not show on XRays, and LOL when I did mine, I do not think MRIs were in much use yet? (maybe there were not even MRIs yet?, LOL)
  14. Ephchap

    Ephchap Active Member


    Ouchie about the knee. Glad the news was good though as far as nothing broken and no surgery needed.

    As for tennis elbow, I also suffered a bout with that about 4 years ago. My elbow, and eventually arm, was so sore, I couldn't stand it and finally went to a doctor. Yep - tennis elbow, and I don't play either. It really was painful. He gave me some kind of anti-inflammatory stuff as I recall, and I had to wear some kind of elbow brace thingie (yes, my technical terms have much to be desired, lol), and in no time, it felt like my old elbow again. I sympathize though, as it really did hurt.

    Now be a good girl and make sure to do your physical therapy. easy child's doctor swears by it, and even though easy child hates going, it has helped her in the past.

  15. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks, dreamer. You were one of the ones that I thought of when I was thinking about members with chronic pain. I also thought about Vickie and her back problems and Nomad with her headaches.

    Deb ~ I'm not looking forward to the PT since I watched easy child go through so much of it. But I will do what I'm supposed to ~ I want to get past this. by the way, I got the brace thingie for my elbow, too.

    Hey, do you think I get to count PT as exercise on the exercise thread? :biggrin:

    Thanks for all of the kind words and encouragement.

  16. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    Kathy, I will count your PT as exercise for the exercise thread bc gosh when I had PT it was brutal!

    ANd yes, I keep thinking of poor Vicky and her back, YIKES! OUCH!

    What always blows my mind is I did not have pain medications for my major knee surgery with my nice long incision, nor did I have anything when I delivered the kids. But gosh darn, I hated PT. I had it for months for a torn rotator cuff (complicated with bone spurs) and OMG.......I HATED it. Thankfully for my knee it was not quite that brutal. I have often wondered if my PT person for my shoulder was a closet sadist.
  17. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member

    Glad you got it checked out and nothing broken. If it is a ligament tear, it will probably take a while to heal. Make sure you ice it a lot. 20 minutes on several times a day.
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member did you like that shot in the knee? LOL.

    I got so good at getting them I just plopped my knee up there and said go for it doctor! My husband would go green every time I had to have one. The worse ones were when I had to get the gel injected a week after my knees were scoped. I had to do a series of 5 weekly injections and they were a hefty dose. We called them my rooster shots cause they were made out of rooster combs.
  19. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh, Janet. How could I forget you? I know that you live with constant pain.

    I was really scared of the injection but it turned out to not be too bad. I used my Lamaze breathing!

    It didn't do diddly for managing the pain of childbirth but I am glad it finally came in handy for something.


    I must be feeling better. I am seeing humor in this.

  20. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    The knee injections really arent bad. I actually would give my eye teeth for a couple about now. Heck, throw in a few in my back while Im

    I have heard that some docs give a lidocaine injection first to numb the area but my doctor doesnt. He said first off, its just one more needle you have to deal with and second its another needle to chance for infection. Much better to just do one needle and get it over with. I agree. My doctor is really good with just going...ready...wham...all done! I feel a :censored2: but its really not as bad as getting a shot in the hip of antibiotic.