Knee Burning / Tingling / Swelling

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hello all,

I have been struggling with knee pain for close to 5 months. I'm a 26 male at 78 kgs, who has been regularly going to the gym (2-3 times a week) since I was 18. I don't play any sports and I have an office job that requires me to sit at a desk all day.

The pain first began after performing deep squats on the smith's machine at the gym. I had rather heavy weights on my back (100KG) and felt a pinch at the top of my patella on both knees halfway through my set of 10 reps. The pain was quite minimal but over the next few weeks I could feel a pinching sensation when jumping or going down stairs. I listened to my friends advice and ceased to do any weights on my lower body for one month.


The weaker my legs got the worse the pain seemed to get. My knees begin swelling a little bit after walking a few kilometres and going up and down stairs. They also began noticeably clicking and when squatting to 90 degrees I could feel what I can only describe a tendon burning pain. I decided it was time to see a physio.

After the first consultation he began to think it could be tendinitis in the knee or possibly a small quad tear in the lower part of my VMO. Over the space of the next six weeks he performed an ultrasound, massages, acupuncture and light leg press exercises. We even trying taping the knee for support, along with using the foam roller to stretch out my quads. My knee continued to swell and felt weak when squatting halfway down. At this point I began to feel a little hopeless and decided it was time to book in for an MRI.


I got back my MRI results on my left knee and they concluded I had sprained my ACL. They found a little bit of fluid around the joint as well as around the top of my patella. Everything else appeared normal. I was pretty positive that it would heal itself over the next few weeks and I could exercise without any restraint.


My knee continued to swell after walking, jumping, exercising. I decided to go to a different doctor for a second opinion. They booked me in for a cortisone injection in my left knee. During the ultrasound, prior to inserting the needle, they mentioned they couldn't find much swelling around the patella (Which I thought was a little strange because it was throbbing and burning). They managed to find a little pocket on the top left of my patella and said the injection was a success.

Mentally I thought my left knee was getting better over the next couple of days, however this was far from the case. I once again began to experience a light tingling and mild burning from my knee to my ankle after exercising on both legs.


At this point I was very frustrated and determined to get to the bottom of my knee pain. I decided it was time to see an orthopaedic surgeon to see if I could get the knee scoped out. The surgeon had a look at the MRI results and believe it was Patellofemoral pain syndrome. He said this could be because I have a shallow knee groove and this could be fixed via physical therapy. I insisted this was not the case and asked for a second MRI on my other (right) damaged knee to make sure the first MRI didn't miss anything (cartilage damage / cyst). He agreed and booked me in for a scan which I have booked in for three weeks time.


Recently I've began to slowly exercise my lower body at the gym with very light weights and stretches. I feel my strength in my knees and VMO are improving however I am still getting an uncomfortable tingling and burning pain in both knees when sitting or lying down. My knee also noticeably clicks on the outside of both knees when riding the bike or bending the knees past 50 degrees.

I’m due to go in for my second MRI this week but I was wondering if anyone else had / has similar symptoms and could offer some sort of advice.

After extensive research I’ve come to believe the tingling / burning / pinching means I may have damaged the nerves in my knee after heavy squatting. Could this be the cause of all the pain or is the specialists on the money regarding Patellar Maltracking / Patellofemoral pain syndrome ?

Any ideas? Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

Will let you all know how my second MRI results go.

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  • Posted

    Firstly, I believe that the swelling is what is causing some of your pain. There is not a lot of empty space around the knee. The nerves, arteries, veins, muscles, tendons and bones all sit right next to each other and every movement stretches, pulls taut and moves them all. If one of these structures (usually the tendon) swells it pushes on whatever is next to it. This is a common affliction at the knee. If what is next to it is a nerve or an artery feeding the nerve you get pain, numbness, tingling and weakness. Until you get the swelling under control, I believe you will continue to have these symptoms. I think the patellor femoral syndrome diagnosis is probably correct. Having said that, it is not always easy to rehab a knee. I think the best treatment for this type of problem is physio. By physio I mean an accurate assessment of all the structures of the knee to check for weakness or over strength of all the muscles but also to check for shortness or length of the muscles. Strenghten only weak muscles and stretch only short muscles. It's more complicated than that, but a good knee physio should know what to do. Hope this helps.
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  • Posted

    What happened? I have exactly the same issue now! 
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  • Posted

    Hi, your knee may not be the problem. I am guessing you have referred pain from your lumbar L2, L3 and L4 discs. I have no back pain but unbearable pain in my leg and knee . I need a spinal fusion operation. Ask your doctor to organise  a ct scan of your spine or ask for a referal to an neuroligist. I know it sounds crazy but it is true. Also my daughter nearly ended up paralysed because she had leg pain and no back pain. I finally found a doctor who knew her leg pain was a spine problem. She had what they called a grade 4 slippage of her lower spine. Grade 5 would have  meant paralysis.  I hope your problem is not as serious. Good luck.


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  • Posted

    What happened with your knee, how are you?
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