I had an x-ray where my knees were bent and I had to hold a plate in front of them. This was only once and it was about 3 years ago. At that point I was told I had Chondromalacia Patella, which I have since been told I don't have.
I had that same there-has-to-be-an-answer attitude up until two days ago. I stayed positive even after 8 medical professionals gave up on me. I was going to go to a university, but after listening to the doctor my mom isn't sure it is worth it. She is now thinking that maybe we should wait it out until things get worse. I no longer think it is worth trying to find a diagnosis because I don't think there is anything to help me even if one was made.
I was very active before knee pain, which is probably why it eats me up inside now. I feel like I missed out on stuff because of something I should have had control over. I was going to go out for track. I haven't been able to run in 5 years. I was going to get my junior black belt in karate. I haven't moved up because I can't do the stances. I have always been involved in sports. I was outside from sun up until sun down. I even played kickball on crutches and in an immobilizer. I hope that I am able to recover like you did and get to do fun things.
Should I just keep jumping doctors until one is willing to do surgery? What are the right questions to ask the doctors to get better answers? How would I be able to tell if I had tracking issues? I don't know if it matters, but when I was at the doctor he put his and on my knee cap and bent my leg back and forth. When he did this we both felt the popping.
The fact that you both felt popping when the doctor moved your kneecap is a sign that you have chondromalacia and most likely tracking issues along with it. Did the previous doctor tell you why he or she thought you didn't have chondromalacia (even though a different doctor said you did)? If you try to move your kneecap side to side with your hand, does it move at all?
Chondromalacia and kneecap tracking issues are fairly common in young women. I didn't develop these issues until I was 26. There are surgical options to fix the tracking issues and to clean up the damaged cartilage under the kneecap. The first two surgeries I had were the least invasive option for this problem, and it resolved the issue for me.
Don't give up. You know something is wrong with your knees. I think you should keep going to different doctors if possible. Some doctors notice what other doctors didn't. I went to 6 or 7 different doctors before I finally found the surgeon who agreed to do the surgery. I had tried PT, several different braces, taping the kneecap in place and cortisone injections. Some of those things worked for me in the short term, but the long term fix for me was the surgery.
The previous doctor said that the x-rays and MRIs didn't show any signs of chondromalacia, but the one before that said that I did have it but the cartilage was just soft. I can very easily move my knee caps all over the place.
I have tried PT, braces, orthotics, blu emu cream, caster oil, and lots of anti-inflamatories.
It makes me more hopeful that I might eventually find an answer. If you had to go through all that work to get a solution then maybe after a few more years I will get an answer. Glad to know others play ring around the rosie with doctors.
You shouldn't be able to move your kneecaps that easily. Chondromalacia means softening of the cartilage under the kneecap. If the kneecap moves too much sideways (you may not necessarily feel it), the softened cartilage can fray (it ends up looking like a stretched out cotton ball). That does not show up on x-rays at all and often doesn't show on MRIs either. The kneecap tracking issues can usually (but not always) be seen on the x-ray view I asked about before. You had that specific x-ray done. Most often, kneecap tracking issues are diagnosed by a physical exam alone. If the doctor gets your kneecap to move sideways (usually to the outside), then you have a tracking problem. If your kneecaps move that easily, there is a brace you could get that could temporarily offer some relief. It is called a lateral J brace. The brace would keep your kneecap in its normal position which should take some of the pressure off of your kneecap.
There is something I just remembered that might give you some hope. When I was finally diagnosed 8 months after my initial injury, I was diagnosed by a doctor at a university hospital. She was not willing to do surgery to correct the problem (I'm still not sure why) despite the fact that she said I needed it, but she diagnosed my problem quite easily based on the x-rays and her physical exam.
I have a ton of braces and know how to tape my knees. The braces were just too bulky to work out in. I will try taping Monday during karate to see if it helps since I haven't tried it yet.
My mom is unsure what to do next. I talked to her about it and she said that we might pow wow with my GP to figure out the next step, which the GP told me last time would be traveling to a university. I will definitely push the subject a little more. I have had 3 doctors suggest it so I don't know what the hold up is. I even looked up and made a list of hospitals with good orthopedic centers. I'm prepared to go, but I think my mom is scared that I will have to have surgery. One of my scariest what ifs is what if I go and they can't figure it out either. What would I do then?
It's funny. I am more scared of not finding an answer than having surgery. At this point I would run and jump on the table... well if I could.
I know exactly how you are feeling. I felt the same way before I was diagnosed. Keep pushing for answers though, so nothing serious happens. I waited 2 years (after diagnosis) before I had my surgery on my left knee. I didn't have a choice by that time though. My tracking issue was so pronounced that my knee would actually give out on me. It did that one day and I fractured my right hand. It was so bad that I was in a cast for 3 and a half months.
There has to be an orthopedic surgeon out there that will properly diagnose your knee problems. Keep searching for answers. You know your body better than anyone. If you feel that something isn't right, then it probably isn't.
I can understand that your mom is scared about the possibility of surgery. My mom was scared about mine too. After my surgeries were completed successfully and she has seen me become more active, my mom knew that my surgeries were the right thing to do.
Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Re: It might get better eventually
I have major tracking issues with my kneecaps, but fortunately no pain! I always thought it was normal to be able to squish around one's kneecaps. The big difference is that you do have pain, which should warrant pursuing a good diagnosis and treatment plan. Surgery is not always the answer and should be complimented with a good physical therapist, both to determine if some set of strengthening/stretching can obviate the need for surgery and to help you with pre- and post-operative care if surgery is needed.
It sounds like it's time to return to the GP for a referral.
I don't know. I'm not even sure I will be having the MRI of my back because the doctor said that he doubted it would show anything. Whenever I ask my mom what the next step is she just says that she doesn't know. She says that we might just wait and see if things get worse. Before the last appointment we were sure we were headed to a university on spring break or summer break. So hopefully soon, but I doubt it. Last time she went through this stage I went over a year and a half without seeing a doctor. It wasn't until I developed hip pain that we went back.
Oh wow! I'm sorry to hear that. If you do have tracking issues with your kneecaps, those issues can be fixed. I hope nothing more serious occurs while you are waiting to see what happens. The fact that there is pain in the areas near your kneecaps/the front of your knees signals that there is definitely some type of problem.
I am actually hoping that something really bad does happen because if it did number one the doctors would do something helpful and it would show my mom that things were more serious than she thought. At this point bad news would be better than no news.
I was a little upset when I first asked her and got that ridiculous answer. I have been having really bad pain this weekend so I thought she might change her mind. I didn't even go sledding on my 2 snow days and I am usually the first one out and the last one in. I am trying the blu emu stuff again. I basically rested for all of both snow days and the weekend. I am back to trying to help myself. It really doesn't help my attempts to keep positive attitude, but it is what it is.
I have karate tomorrow and plan on taping my knees for the first time. Hopefully that or the blu emu stuff will help me with the pain.
I can understand your thinking about wanting something bad to happen so that there is proof. I felt that way too. I didn't like my "something bad" that happened (my broken hand because my knee gave out), but it did get things moving in the right direction. I wouldn't want something that bad to happen to you. You have already been dealing with this longer than I had to deal with mine. Taping the kneecaps in place did help me as a short term fix. I hope it helps you. Please keep me posted on how things are going for you.
Taping didn't work at all. There was too much friction. My pants kept making the tape roll up. Oh well at least I tried. On the upside, I have learned to adjust well enough that my instructor is letting me test. I guess if I can't fix the pain the next best thing is fixing my karate enough to test. I have been the same rank for 6 years. Normally it is a year at longest between tests. I can say I have gotten incredibly aware of how my body moves in the last year. That did give my positive attitude a boost!
Have you ever taken Levaquin or Cipro? Any of the Antibiotic's in this family can cause extreme pain in any tendons, joints or muscle in your body. If you have ever taken any of these meds than look up Levaquin Tendonitis. Just a though. I suffer from pain everyday in my knee because of taking Levaquin.