Unknown knee problem for 6 months

Posted , 5 users are following.


I am writing this in hopes that someone could please tell me what's wrong. Let me give you all the background possible and the symptoms.

I have experienced mild knee pain that prohibits me from doing exercise or climbing stairs for 6 months now. The problem first occurred while I was in the gym, using the leg press machine. The weight was not big at all, and upon doing some repetitions, this mild nagging pain appeared.

The pain reappears whenever I go up stairs, and when I sit in a car for a longer period of time. Also if I try doing any exercise with my legs. Sometimes the pain appears on its own, and nothing helps to relieve it. I have tried ice packs, resting, stretching, you name it. The pain itself is always mild and never strong and sharp.

Now the biggest mystery is that the pain is ALWAYS in both knees, and it hasn't healed for 6 months straight. Everything that I have read regarding knee pain, be it tendinitis, ligament sprain, the recovery period is less than 6 months for sure.

I am a female, 27 years of age, so I don't believe that the joint cartilage has worn out either.

Now let me explain where the pain is- it is right above and around the kneecap, there are something like small tight ligaments that seem to connect from the quad muscle to the knee, they are the ones that mainly hurt. Also, I believe that there are these small ligaments going above the kneecap itself, that also hurt.

My main problem regarding this health issue, is that I am in a foreign country where healthcare is incredibly expensive, and the doctors don't know english very well. I have gone to the doctor for other types of problems, and I always go home without a solid solution just because the doctors don't speak a lot of english and prefer to say "rest" rather than tell me what's going on. 

I apologize for the long topic, but I hope you'll understand my issue. I would happily go to a doctor if you guys tell me exactly what to look for and how to practically self-diagnose my condition using hospital equipment.

My main point of distress is that if it isn't a joint cartilage problem, everything else would have healed in 6 months, but my symptoms don't have anything in common with a joint cartilage problem. 

Thank you in advance!

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  • Posted

    You absolutely need an x-ray, not a MRI. It won't t go away. My personal opinion is that you need orthoscopic Surgery asap. Please go home and see a orthopedic surgeon, you will need to heal and it takes time. Please remember we cannot control our lives, we must obey God first and be patient when we hurt.

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  • Posted

    Not a doc but with four knee scopes and then a TKR over 15 years, I've been through this.

    If it's a sprain or strain, 2-3 weeks on an NSAID anti-inflammatory plus avoidance of anything that could make the problem worse would be indicated.  The top pharma dosage would be ibuprofen 800 mg TID.  Also, Voltaren Gel is great; it's RX in the US but you may find some OTC.  Always check for interactions with your current meds for all of this.

    If the problem doesn't get any better or isn't gone entirely, the US protocol would be:

    - See an orthopedic surgeon for an x-ray.

    - If the doc finds nothing to explain the pain, an MRI would be ordered.

    - If the MRI is inconclusive (happens a lot), the doc will "scope" the knee to find and fix what's wrong.

    None of this is unusual.  I had FOUR knee scopings; all four MRIs showed nothing.  Doc ended up repairing two menisci and two femoral condyles...one set on each side over about four years.  All of this ended up, along with growing arthritis, with the administration of SynVisc for 5 years to keep the residual pain away.  Moving to a warmer climate helped for another 6 years (no SynVisc) until the inevitable TKR at age 68.  All of this because of 45+ years of playing hockey.

    You are nowhere near anything like I've experienced.  So...  I'd start a course of A/Is and Voltaren and be gentle on the knee for 2-3 weeks.  See how that works.  Be very conscious of the med schedule (it has to build up in your bloodstream so don't miss doses) and don't put pressure on the knees.

    If that doesn't work, try some acupuncture.  Without access to an ortho with the necessary imaging and scoping capabilities, you may not be able to get a definitive diagnosis and treatment.  This might require a trip to the largest city with good medical facilities closest to you.

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  • Posted

    Go home for treatment if you are able to and it's free. I flew home in 2015 for similar pain. Good luck.

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  • Posted

    You are in a terrible bind but the only way out is with proper diagnostics. 2 basics: Xrays are for bone damage and mri's are for soft tissue. If an Xray, the least expensive route doest get an answer then an MRI is going to be needed. Often times small strains can be taken care of with the appropriate physical therapy. Meniscus problems are a prime example. Occasionally, steroid injections will get you relief. You didn't mention what country you are from nor what country you are in, however; if you are American, sometimes a contact with the American embassy can get you to a reference point for proper care. Remember, people in the embassy have to go somewhere for health care. In the meantime, rest and I mean real rest not just 15 mins at a time, and icing ever hour plus add anti inflammatories if your stomach allows. Wish I could be more help as my foreign travels have been limited to parts of Asia and small parts if Europe.

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