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I had 4 knee surgeries in 10 years: 2 on the right (ACL replacement and patella tendon repair) and 2 on the left (ACL replacement and medial meniscus repair). PT after all of my surgeries was routine except my last one which was an ACL replacement on my left knee. PT was way more painful and unlike my previous ACL replacement, the vast majority of my pain was on the lateral side. It felt like something was being stretched beyond what is normal when I bent it past 90 degrees (where my knee touches my butt) or extended completely to 180 degrees. When I asked my doctor and PT, they both said it was likely a slight build up scar tissue that needed to be loosened up and it should go away once I completed PT. I completed PT and eventually, the pain became background noise like any other little ache. I began playing sports and working out as usual and the pain was just a dull ache or unnoticeable until about a year ago. I am a little more than slightly bowlegged, always have been, and I've noticed that my left leg does not "bow" like it used to because the lateral side of my knee is so tight. It's starting to create problems in how I walk and workout. I've also noticed that I can no longer bend it past 90 degrees without severe pain. Like during PT 3 years ago, there is a overstretch type feeling and it takes some serious painful but bearable stretching to get it to extend 180 degrees and honestly it never gets to 180 degrees. I've tried doing heal and wall slides (learned from PT) to increase my range of motion but they are so painful that I can't complete a single rep. Also, if I sit for too long with my knee bent, when I stand, there is so much pain that I can hardly walk. If I stand for long periods of time, I don't feel any pain but the second I attempt to bend my knee to sit or stretch or walk, yep, lateral pain. Cycling and swimming are the only workouts I can do where the pain is bearable which is limiting during winter/bad weather. I cannot lift any type of leg weights or do martial arts anymore. I've seen 2 doctors (different from the one who performed my surgeries as he's retired) and they both said it was arthritis (runs in my family; I'm only 30 by the way). Their solutions were to throw pills at it, for me to stretch more and for me to perform more range of motion exercises. I am incredibly flexible and have never had an issue with tightness anywhere in my body except this dang knee. I also don't think its arthritis because the pain isn't in my joints at all, which I emphasized to both of them to no avail. The next doctor I go to, I want to be prepared for what to say/ask so I don't get brushed off. Any help, suggestions, advice any of you might have would be greatly appreciated.
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