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Knee & Hip Problems Message Board
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:11 PM   #1
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Off and on ankle/knee pain, both knees

'm 21, 6', 180 lbs, female. First sprained my ankle around March 2011. Iced it, took some pain medication, and was back to being very physically active in about 3 weeks. However, it came back, this time with back of the knee pain. Went to the school clinic, who prescribed a two week round of advil. Didn't work. Was prescribed a two week round of naproxen. Worked, and then went back to being active in about another month total.

However, in the fall, the ankle/knee resurfaced again with pain. This time it was so bad that it felt like the knee couldn't bend at ALL, and I walked around for about two weeks dragging the leg(left) by moving the entire thing from the hip. The pain would make me cry at times. Was frustrated by how the school(my only method of insurance) twice just prescribed pain meds and stopped at that, so decided to try to wait it out.

Eventually, that round did go away when I bought braces for both and started wearing those around the house.

However, fastforward to about early February of this year and the ankle/knee came up AGAIN. I had gone back to a physically active lifestyle, and bought new running shoes to try to get back into my favorite hobby. When it started hurting again first it was the throbbing/aching feeling at the back of the left knee, then it was the ankle, and now newly it also was the right knee, in the back. There was also some pain directly on the front, as well as soreness along the front down to the shins. I attributed it to the running shoes for about a month, and that perhaps I did too much, but it wouldn't go away.

Reluctantly went to the school clinic again, was prescribed more pain meds. When those didn't work long term(again), was sent for an ultrasound to check for blood clots(I'm no doctor but what? ultrasound?). Found nothing on ultrasound, and am currently sent to physical therapy. Physical therapy sucks-the electrical stimulation they used caused more parts of my knee to hurt, and feel tight.

Any clues on things I should be investigating to treat this? Any similar past experiences? It doesn't hurt enough that I'm flattened on the bed and unable to walk around campus, but it hurts enough that I'm not active anymore. I can basically only do pulling in the swimming pull strictly with arms.

edit to add: When the other knee is involved, it will be that both of the knees crack with bending, and then feel like the joint is loose/there is stabbing pain. This happened today after the PT had me do squats against the wall. Then the cracking feeling stays for the rest of the day, and sometimes the next.

Last edited by fadedsunrise; 04-19-2012 at 05:13 PM.

 
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:06 AM   #2
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Re: Off and on ankle/knee pain, both knees

Hello -- sorry you haven't been getting any responses to your questions. I am no knee or ankle expert, but I have a couple of comments that might help to clarify.

When a person has severe pain in the calves, the one life-threatening medical emergency is deep vein thrombosis (blood clots). These can travel to your heart, lung, and brain, and cause bad problems and potentially death. The ultrasound allows the doctor to ensure that the blood is flowing through your veins properly. So, probably a good thing that the school clinic ruled this out!

The pain through the front of the leg sounds like it could be shin splints, which is a fairly common problem for runners. If so, then this one condition could be responsible for all of your pain, or you might have something else going on.

You mentioned being in physical therapy. Do you know what condition you are being treated for? The doctor should have provided a diagnosis to the physical therapist, so maybe the therapist can let you know, as the doctor seems to be uncommunicative. Make sure that the therapist knows about any weakness you have in your ankles, even if that is not what the diagnosis states. You might need a secondary prescription to cover ankle rehab.

Also, if something hurts, or causes a flare-up of symptoms, be sure to let the therapist know. The exercise should feel like "work" but not be painful. The therapist may be able to modify the exercise to achieve the result you want without causing pain. The electric stimulation should provide cumulative benefits over time, but for some people, it just doesn't work.

 
Old 04-20-2012, 05:44 AM   #3
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Re: Off and on ankle/knee pain, both knees

I'm thinking that some of the pain around your knee might be muscle pain from limping around on a damaged ankle.

Does your physical therapist have you stretch well? If not, ask him. Are you doing exercises there? If it's just the stimulation, you need to find a new PT.

 
Old 04-20-2012, 12:39 PM   #4
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Re: Off and on ankle/knee pain, both knees

Hi all, thank you for the responses.

The diagnosis is for "knee tendonitis". They weren't more specific with it, and the physical therapist doesn't really speak of her evaluations or medical opinions-she even said that she doesn't want to argue with their judgement.

She does have me do exercises, and there is some stretching. The one thing that hurt most was(and previously it was only occasionally and not bad enough for me to care)-when I squat, or stand up from a sitting position, or just flex the knee more than couple times-there will be crackling noises, and the entire joint feels tight all around the front as well.

I went back to the school clinic's PA, and she sent me for an x-ray and to see an orthopedist, so I'll see how it goes!

 
Old 04-20-2012, 01:44 PM   #5
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Re: Off and on ankle/knee pain, both knees

Glad to hear you're making some progress. In the US, physical therapists cannot make a diagnosis. They can treat, observe, make suggestions to the doctor: these exercises shouldn't hurt, maybe you have some (possible medical condition) going on. I'm going to ask the doctor to evaluate you for (medical condition).

Hope the orthopedist gets you some more answers!

 
Old 04-20-2012, 04:51 PM   #6
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Re: Off and on ankle/knee pain, both knees

Let us know how it goes!

 
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