Sharp pain in the upper outer knee

Edited , 3 users are following.

Hello, I've had knee pain in both knees for quite sometime that gets worse when standing for a while and if I try to squat down. However, yesterday, while sitting down I noticed a very sharp pain in the outer part of my knee. It is brief but very painful.

This is now happening today when I just bend my knee outward (flexion of the knee) at a certain angle. Also while walking it will just randomly cause pain. I have had random knee pain similar to this but not as often, generally once a month or maybe a week also not while walking usually just sitting.

I workout regularly and generally don't have knee pain while working out, I find that a bit odd too.

Attached is an image of where the knee pain is.

Thanks for your feedback!!


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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Gotta see an orthopedic surgeon (preferably one in a sports-related group) for imaging and an exam. When the doc pushes, pulls and manipulates the knee, they can pinpoint the source of your problem. We're not docs here so nothing we say should be regarded as gospel. Only an ortho can make that call. I would, however, suggest that you refrain from anything that can cause the pain until you see the doc. Elevate, ice and rest...see the doc ASAP.

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much for the information that is helpful. I do see a sport medicine doctor, I took x-rays today for a prior appointment due to just general knee pain while squatting (no weight). I'll move the follow up visit as soon as I can.

      Hopefully it's nothing serious, I've looked for what this knee pain in though searching and just couldn't find anything like mine. I'll follow up with what the results are.

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    • Posted

      Remember that an x-ray or even an MRI can be inconclusive. I had four knee scopes in my 50s and all were negative. Yet, when the doc went in, he found the problems and fixed them.

      The key is the exam. With every pull, push. twist and turn, the doc checks a different part of your knee. When you say "ouch", he can pinpoint the problem (Meniscus, ACL, LCL, etc.). The exam is always better than the imaging which will show structural damage, not soft tissue problems.

      I know we all want answers and want them NOW! This type of issue may or may not have an immediate solution. Deep and the doc have to figure it out and sometimes it doesn't happen in a flash. Focus and'll get your answer.

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    • Posted

      Thanks this is excellent advice!

      Turns out they had an opening today! Amazing. He pushed, he prodded he pulled then twisted. Didn't have an ouch. He said my symptoms were not typical of anything specific and said that he will monitor it and follow up in a couple of weeks.

      I feel like so many of my issues are "monitor it", makes me feel crazy sometimes. I suppose that's better than a major issue, so I'll take some peace in that. The sporadic sharp pain is scary because it's a surprise when it happens, I'd rather it be consistent. "Oh when I bend my knee 40% this way it hurts, ok try not to do that." But mine is just random.

      Regardless, for now I'll monitor, hopefully it gets better soon! Thanks so much for taking the time to reply, it always is interesting to hear others experience.

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    • Posted

      My wife complains about knee pain all the time as she falls a lot because of her dropfoot condition. The ortho did the imaging and the manipulation. Zero. Then he pressed down in the area between her patella and femur...she hit the ceiling. The problem wasn't the knee but the quadricep tendon attached to her knee. A cortisone shot helped with the pain and inflammation but her instructions were to exercise and strengthen the tendon to eliminate the pain long term. This is a whole lot better than having something structurally wrong with your knee.

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    • Posted

      Wow that's exactly the way I would describe mine , push just above the knee cap and its the same sharp excruciating pain.

      It confused me because while walking or just lying in bed with some movement will casue it to randomly zap the knee like hell.

      Though this forum doesn’t have doctors, it’s really comforting to know that you’re not the only one experiencing certain pain.

      I'm grateful for your feedback and glad your wife found out her issue and was able to remedy it!

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  • Posted

    Unfortunately I can't see my sport medicine doctor ASAP, but I did discover that when I press on the top of my knee cap and around the side of it, it shoots out that same sharp pain. Also happening when I just walk, it's not locking or feel unstable just a really sharp quick pain.

    I'll keep updating, unless that's a nuisance, just hope to help someone else out or maybe see if others have had this before.

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  • Posted

    Here is the latest update on this condition. My PT has said that he believes it's all IT band related. He also palpitated slightly laterally and superior to the patella and I almost jumped off the bed.

    My IT band started giving me pain in my right lateral knee and was obvious it was that, I ignored it a bit and that then flared up to become greater trochanteric bursitis on my right hip. Eventually that settled down a bit and then a new fun issue popped up on my left SI joint. These all eventually calmed down, but last week I did plyometrics, jumping with weight for 45s x 4 rounds. This didn't hurt during the exercise however 3 days later, Sunday it zapped me while getting up in my right knee.

    Fast forward to Wednesday, my trainer suggested doing knee extensions to test the tendon, that didn't hurt, then we moved on to weighted wall sits. Boy that one blew it up and ever since each day it has gotten worse. Sharp pain, like a 9, right through my knee.

    After this I saw my PT and he pushed on the patella medially and the pain was not there doing an air squat. Then he stretched my upper IT band and TFL a considerable amount and that relieved the pain for a few minutes.

    Since the pain is so high, for now I lay in bed with my leg extended, stretch every hour and try to walk around as well. Walking is always scary because that zap will just happen so randomly, yet more frequently. In addition, now if I just lift my leg up, extended straight out, it zaps too. All related to the IT band tugging on that quadricep tendon causing the articular patella pain. When it zaps, I woudln't wish that level on pain on anyone!

    I hope this helps someone out who has ever experienced this.

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  • Posted

    Latest update on my knee:

    Had an MRI performed on my right knee last Thursday and they discovered I have a chronic 50% torn ACL. I will post the full findings once I get the document. This may have contributed to my quad tendon pain since the knee is partially unstable.

    Odd that I never feel my knee buckle or feel like it will give way. My guess is this happened 1.5 years ago when I feel off of a jump while snowboarding. My board twisted and my knee was in pain, but only for about a week.

    I'll find out more what my next steps are, of course surgery to reconstruct it is an option, also PRP was recommended but even perhaps simply phsyical therapy.

    I'm curious if anyone else here has gone through this and what they recommend.


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