Knee locking

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Hi,

During my late teens through to my early thirties my left knee would lock. This was always when moving my leg from left to right when the leg was bent. The pain was excrutiating - if I were to describe it it felt like bone against bone if I tried to extend the leg (I know it's not possible but that's how it felt). The pain would be at the outer edge of the knee. A lot of hot towels and courage was required to keep moving my leg millimetres at a time until eventually I would feel something at the back of my knee 'come apart', then it was immediate relief. Apart from feeling a little stiff, I experienced no swelling or bruising afterwards. I never went down to the doctors as I thought it was part and parcel of a problem that I had had with my knee since my teens (Chrondomylacia Patella).

I am now in my early forties and my knee hasn't locked for approximately 8 years until several weeks ago when it happenend in the early hours of the morning when I turned over in bed. Unfortunately I had to call the Paramedics and after plenty of Gas & Air and 3 hours later it unlocked but this time the back of my knee was about 6 inches off the bed before it popped - normally it unlocks whilst still relatively bent. The thought of going through that again terrified me so I went to the Doctors.

I have had an MRI scan and was advised that the scan hadn't shown anything. I have to admit to feeling upset that nothing has shown that can be rectified to stop it happening again. I've now been 'dimissed' by the Doctor with no advice other than if it happens again they'll refer me and a full stop.

Has anyone else had/got a similar problem?

Any help/suggestions would be really appreciated.

Many thanks.

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  • Posted

    Hi Hartley,

    I'm 46 and this started with me at about 9. I went to the Dr's and was told 'it was a piece of chipped bone, growing pains and all in my head' over a period of 7 years. Later on I tried tubular bandage and 'deep heat' but nothing changed or stopped it. It hasn't locked now for about 15 years but I strongly suspect it is to with me very carefully 'managing' my knee and making sure I don't put it in a vulnerable position (sitting on my feet, twisting my knee, kneeling too low etc).

    My daughter turned 8 last November and now the same has started to happen to her. I've googled knee locking and there is a good american forum (bettermedicines. com) and it looks as though this is a common occurrence. We're taking my daughter to the Dr's tomorrow morning and I've got my fingers crossed that things have moved on since my youth!

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  • Posted

    Hi Jacqui1,

    Many thanks for your reply.

    I will definitely have a look at the forum that you've mentioned - thank you. I have also found a good site which is knee geeks/knee guru which is worth taking a look at.

    What you have mentioned with regards to 'managing' your knee is so true as i do the same. I'm still wearing a surgical support stocking when I go to bed as i'm terrified it will happen when I don't have that level of control. Maybe one day i'll stop wearing it - give me another few years perhaps!!!

    II am sorry to hear that your daughter has the same problem as you/I do and hope that she gets a better explanation than what we did/have and it can be resolved. Keeping fingers crossed.

    Kind regards.

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  • Posted

    Hi I could not believe this when I read this its the same as what my other half has been having even down to the MRI scan, he has had his knees locking for many years and has always been able to unlock them up until 2 years ago when he also had to go to hospital and have key hole surgery to unlock it which led him to have blood clots on his lungs due to it being locked for 3 days before it was unlocked again. 2 years on and tonight he has has it happen again I can't believe it he is now back in hospital with his leg locked. I can see how painful it is and it's awful to see someone in such pain with little they can do to help it. To read that other people have the same thing although its not nice to go through to know other people know what it's like. I'm sorry for anyone who has this problem it's really not nice. Good luck
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  • Posted

    Hi Julie,

    Thank you for your email.

    The best site that I have seen is the one that Jacqui1 recommended (thank you Jacqui ) - bettermedicines.com. I can honestly say that when I first went on the site I cried. I felt vindicated. I had felt that people thought I was exaggerating the pain - someone had even said it was probably cramp - and because I had no swelling etc.. afterwards that there wasn't really a problem.

    It sounds as if your partner has had some terrible problems, I hope he's out of hospital and recovering well and it doesn't happen to him again.

    I hope the site helps you too.

    Take care & good luck

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  • Posted

    Hi, sounds like I have the same problem as you Hartley. For several years now I have experienced the same problem of locking, it happens when I put sideways pressure on my lower leg like getting up from being cross legged on the floor. I had an arthriscope and they cleaned out cartilage etc but it did not fix the problem. I feel it is the outer side of my knee but the surgeon does not believe that there is anything there that can cause this, post op MRI doesn't show anything that would cause it according to him but he wants to go in again anyway. I really don't think it will make any difference. When I push through the lock I too get instant relief and no swelling (just soreness), it feels like something is clunking back into place on the outer side of my knee. Any thought s on what this could be?

    Also site mentioned above does not work, any other suggestions?

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  • Posted

    Hi Chris,

    I'm sorry to hear that you are having problems with your knee too. I've just tried to get into the site and it is very difficult. I've just double checked and found the easiest way to find the site is to enter locking knee into Google and the site will show up as:

    Knee lock's up - anyone else??? Better Medicines Forums.

    I found it on page 2.

    It's definitely something on the outer side of my knee that locks and I really wish I knew what is happening when it does lock.

    I'm not sure if it's the Better Medicines site that I read it on but someone else describes their condition as the same as ours and I think they thought it was the actual cartilage/ligament slipping out of place. This made sense to me as when my knee unlocks it feels as though something at the back of the knee comes apart and then the pain on the outer side of my knee goes and I can move it again. It's really strange but this may account for the fact that there's no swelling etc.. As I say, I wish I knew.

    I hope that the site is of help to you.

    Please let me know how you get on with your Surgeon/Doctors.

    Good Luck.

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  • Posted

    Hi Chris,

    I'm sorry to hear that you are having problems with your knee too. I've just tried to get into the site and it is very difficult. I've just double checked and found the easiest way to find the site is to enter locking knee into Google and the site will show up as:

    Knee lock's up - anyone else??? Better Medicines Forums.

    I found it on page 2.

    It's definitely something on the outer side of my knee that locks and I really wish I knew what is happening when it does lock.

    I'm not sure if it's the Better Medicines site that I read it on but someone else describes their condition as the same as ours and I think they thought it was the actual cartilage/ligament slipping out of place. This made sense to me as when my knee unlocks it feels as though something at the back of the knee comes apart and then the pain on the outer side of my knee goes and I can move it again. It's really strange but this may account for the fact that there's no swelling etc.. As I say, I wish I knew.

    I hope that the site is of help to you.

    Please let me know how you get on with your Surgeon/Doctors.

    Good Luck.

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  • Posted

    Hi Hartley,

    The better medicines forum is excellent, a number of people with the exact same condition. I have cancelled my second arthroscope and am seeking further opinions. Will let you know how I get on.

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  • Posted

    Hi Chris,

    I'm glad you found the site, as you say it is excellent.

    Hope things go well for you and yes please let me know how you get on.

    Hartley

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  • Posted

    Hi Chris,

    I'm glad you found the site, as you say it is excellent.

    Hope things go well for you and yes please let me know how you get on.

    Hartley

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