I'm curious if you have found out anything about your knee condition. I found your posting while searching for information on my condition that sounds VERY similar to yours. I'm 33 and had relatively healthy knees before they went bad (although I did a lot of skateboarding as a youngster).
I had a medial meniscus repair job done in April of 2004 (they found a small tear and sewed it back together. The recovery was supposed to take about 3 months. It is now 6.5 months later and BOTH of my knees are killing me! It feels very similar to yours in that the area that surrounds the kneecap is very tender and somewhat painful, especially after I wake up or after I sit with a bend in the knees for any length of time. The rear of each knee is also tender and painful. I cannot bend either of my knees back like I used to. No chance of sitting "Indian style" due to a very swollen feeling back there when I bend them. I cannot sit down in a chair or in the bathroom without assisting myself down...and the same when getting up. Taking anti-inflammatory drugs like Aleve and Vioxx (which they recently took off the market
does help. When I wake up in the morning, the pain is minimal (a 3 on a scale of 1-10). After a nice long hot shower and getting ready for work…I drive 20 minutes to work. When I get there I walk like a 90 year old man. The swelling and pain is around a 6 or 7 by then…which I attribute to the warm shower and the bent position in the car. Stretching of the hamstring muscles seems to help as well as flexing the calf muscles while driving to work. The rest of the day I walk very cautiously, consciously and slow around work. Walking up stairs is not very difficult, however you would not see me running up them or even walking up at a fast pace. Walking down the stairs is troubling because I don’t feel confident in the knee with all of the pain down there. The worst the pain ever gets is about a 7 (being conservative since there has to be more painful things). I cannot kneel down EVER and look like a gimp when trying to sit down on the floor. It takes me many moves to sit down or up on the ground. Any of this sounding familiar? My doctor recently did MRI’s on both knees to see what the problem was. My left knee is the post-op one. I was almost certain that I had torn the meniscus in the Right knee while favoring the left during recovery. I have this painful clicking and catching in the Right knee now…although the Left knee is just painful. The MRI turned up negative for any structure problems, but they found that both of my knees synovial linings (the bag that all of the knee joint sits inside of surrounded by a very slippery synovial fluid) were inflamed for an unknown reason. They did blood work to rule out Lyme disease but found high levels of Iron in the blood. The P.A. even questioned me and asked if I worked in an iron factory or around a lot of iron dust. Very strange question since I work in an air-conditioned building as an air traffic controller. Anyway, I would find a way to get your doc to order an MRI of both of the knees. Mine feels like what I would expect moderate to severe arthritis feels like…but it just came on over night. This wasn’t something that took months or years to get worse and worse.
On a side note…just in case you are having any of these other symptoms, about 4 months after the Right knee became inflamed and painful, my right wrist started feeling stiff in the mornings. One of my friends at work had heard about my condition and said that he suffers from high Iron levels in his blood. His condition is called hemochromatosis and can manifest itself as an arthritic feeling. He is forced to go give blood once every 8 weeks (bloodletting) to treat his condition. He said that he feels wonderful after the donation and can feel the iron buildup over the next 8 weeks. Pain, tingly feeling etc… I’m going to go give blood today and see if there is any notable change tomorrow. The reading that I have done on hemochromatosis indicates that it can’t hurt to donate the blood and that it is not something that the blood centers don’t want. If anyone else except the original author of the other posting is reading this and has some very similar sounding condition…please email me so we can compare notes and maybe find our own cure. I do know that sitting in the hottub at night does seem to make it feel better for the duration of the evening…but makes it much worse in the morning. This I suppose is due to the synovial lining inflammation from the deep heating. I experimented last night by staying out of the tub and this morning I feel like about a 3 to 4 pain vs. yesterday a full 7 after hottubbing it the night before. One issue solved 10 more to go ha! Please email if you have any answers or similar problems. Oh yea, I should mention that my patience is very short these days as well. I get real snappy with my wife when she does something very minor. I imagine that this is because either I am just a jerk or because of the fact that EVERY STEP HURTS and EVERY MOVEMENT aches. Hopefully if there are any spouses reading this…this will help you to further understand your spouses problem and moods. It really wares a person down. I am 6’1” and was into weightlifting, mountainbiking, bodysculpting, and weighed 192 in January. Now I’m fighting love-handles and am down to a mushy looking 180 lbs with a bad attitude ha! Sure will be rough when I run out of Vioxx. A quick trip to Mexico will be in order to get more