Hi I'm 26 years old and pretty active. I do weights frequently but mostly upper body. During the warmer months I'll cycle and run 3-4 times a week. Running anywhere from 1-5 miles. Cycling anything from 10-35 miles. I can both run and cycle with minimal to no pain during activity. It's more so during regular daily walking or standing. Both of my knees seem to crack very easily. My right knee is the issue. Sometimes after a longer run/ride it's a bit achy and has slight pain. It also almost seems as if it's unstable and if I twist it inward while standing it always pops/clicks/cracks but no real pain occurs. Sometimes when I bend down and squat on my knees there's a bit of pain. For most part it feels almost unstable and seems to click/pop/crack like crazy and maybe almost grind sometimes. Sometimes I can almost feel a tendon or something sliding along my knee. Like I said during these activities it rarely bothers me....It's more so after or even during daily walking/standing. I did have a hamstring strain of some sort a year or so ago which I never saw a doctor for. Is this part of my problem?? I've mostly tried to shake it off and keep doing my activities since it's never gotten very painful. Is this a major concern or am I probably dealing with something minor??? I've tried stretching more lately and plan to start strengthening my hams/quads with some weights. It's just frustrating more than anything and I'd like to get to the point where it doesn't pop/crack or anything if I twist it, along with no pain. It's been going on for quite some time now and maybe slightly worse now.
So I've been doing more stretching lately and doing some foam rolling. Also I'm try to strengthen my muscles around my knee. After doing some legs Tuesday I noticed my inner quad seems more sore than the rest of my muscles. Is that a sign that it's a weak area and could be part of my problem/instability?
First of all, you probably are overdoing things with all the daily exercise and not giving your knees a chance to rest! That being said, since you are experiencing the pain, clicking and feeling of instability, it sounds like you "may" have torn the medial meniscus and/or your ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in either one or both knees! If it feels like it's rubbing as if bone on bone, then you need to see an Orthopedic surgeon ASAP to diagnose your problems. If you "did" tear anything in either knee, you will probably need arthroscopic surgery to repair the damage. Recovery can take up to 3 months or more.
Until you do see an Ortho surgeon, I would stop the intense workouts completely (or at least dial back on some parts of your routine). If you can take any of the over the counter NSAIDS like Aleve for the pain, do so. Also, make sure to ice the knees after your workouts and keep the knees elevated as much as possible at home. That will cut down on the inflammation you're most likely experiencing.
If you don't have an Ortho surgeon, call your nearest Univ. Medical Center and ask for at least two names of Orthopedic surgeons who have at least ten years experience and whose primary subspecialty is the knees and hips! You're too young for a total knee replacement, but you probably will do okay for many years if you have to have arthroscopic repair. (Most Ortho surgeons usually will not do a knee replacement until the patient is in their early 50s or they develop severe osteoarthritis in their 40s that causes the cartilage to totally wear away and you have the pain of bone on bone in the knee.) I was just such a patient. I'm in my late 50s and developed "end-stage" osteoarthritis in both knees by the end of 2010 and my surgeon had no choice but to give me knee replacements a year apart. (right knee TKR - 4/5/11 and left knee TKR - 3/23/12) Everything went very well, he did an awesome job both surgeries and I am now all healed and walking normally, and balanced, without pain, for the first time in seven years! Going through the surgeries and rehab was definitely worth it for me!
Good luck and keep me posted as to when you do get to an Ortho surgeon and find out what is wrong and what the treatment plan will be.
I haven't ran/biked in over a week. As I said before I've been doing lots of stretching for both the hams and quads. Also been using the foam roller on my it band and hamstring which I injured 2 summers ago. Things have been feeling pretty good. Did some Heavy leg press on Tuesday. Normal soreness except the medial quad feels even more sore than anything else (on the bad knee side). Can something still be torn though if I leg pressed over 400lbs with no pain what so ever during that activity??? Also on most rides, they were hard/fast bike rides with never any real pain during. Something just felt a little worse after/at the end of a 4.3 mile run outside. Which was my furthest in quite some time and only my second or third outdoors in recent time. During normal daily activity I have no pain at all. I do feel I can still twist it inward, and it cracks/pops though. It isn't painful just more annoying. It's the constant feeling that I can twist it in and it pops/cracks/clicks that is my annoyance. It's never been painful to where I had to stop any activity. Just more of a slight annoyance/ache/pain which never lasts long. A month or so ago I played full court intense basketball with all kinds of cutting and changing of directions with no issues what so ever.
Also my insurance is little to nothing....which is why I keep trying to avoid going to a doctor.
Hi again - Glad to hear you cut back on your exercise routine for now. And, yes, you still possibly may have torn either the meniscus or the ACL in the knee if it's still popping and clicking. I'm not sure what effect your heavy duty leg press routine for your quads has on the knee issue. Obviously, there IS some connection, but I'm just not sure what that is.
Even though your insurance situation is tight, I would still try and find an Orthopedic surgeon to at least diagnose the specific issue with your bad knee. (the one you say hurts more than the other and pops and clicks.
Trust me, you do not want to wait until the knee buckles completely on you because your knee snaps and sends you to the ground in real agony! Been there, done that in 2005 and glad I don't have to worry about that anymore with my two new knee replacements!
Let me know if you can at least get to an Ortho specialist to diagnose what's wrong with the knee. Depending on what a surgeon tells you, I will hopefully be able to help you make the right treatment decision based on the treatment options the surgeon presents you with and what is covered by your insurance.