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Mystery knee pain says Kaiser

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Old 10-28-2010, 09:26 PM   #1
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Mystery knee pain says Kaiser

I will try to be brief as there is a lot going on. I really hope someone has something insightful as every doctor/ortho I have seen has no answer and has either told me I am just getting older and to deal with it or they pawn me off to another person. I feel misdiagnosed and neglected and it's really wearing on my mood and psyche. I just want to feel better and return to my normal activities, however, a solid and confident answer from a doctor who shows interest in my well being would be very appreciated. Up until this point nobody has given me a single clue as to what could be going on. Enough of my b'ing and moaning, but I figured maybe someone on here might have an idea...

I am 28, male, and have been fairly active my entire life. I am not overweight, nor am I thin, 6', 205. I have no pain in my right knee.

Two years ago I felt a pop during basketball, was able to finish but my left knee stiffened up severely. Ever since then, any aggressive activity has caused my left knee to stiffen and sharp pain is experienced on the outside, lower part of my knee. The pain can be from 1 - 9, depending on the activity and the duration.

For instance, I have been sick and off my feet for several days and my knee feels relatively fine (1) but then later today, after being on my feet for a few hours I went up two stairs at a time, hyper-extending my knee, and I had shooting pain (5)right below my patella.

There are two parts to the knee pain in my circumstance. The first is what causes the knee to become irritated, and the 2nd is what causes pain once it is irritated. When the knee has been rested there is zero pain, or very little pain and when it is under greater use, standing at work, exercising, sitting but in a cramped booth, the knee stiffens and the pain increases in severity.

Things that cause my knee to become irritated are prolonged standing, sitting, excessive squatting (for work, low stocking of shelves etc.) sports that are aggressive on the knee such as basketball, running, soccer, and stair climbing several stairs at a time which causes your leg to hyper-extend.

Once the knee has been irritated, many things can cause pain, but I will list the most obvious and most painful. Pulling your foot back to your butt as if you were stretching your left quad, taking a shoe off with the other foot, lateral movements, jumping, and seated leg curls with minimal weight, if any. The pain is generally focused on the outside of the patella, but it also can sneak into the inside area of the knee and right below the patella when hyper-extended. There is generally always a dull ache and the feeling of the knee being unstable.

I have received several localized lidocaine injections which helped tremendously for several weeks. This has proven that the pain is local and not from a nerve pinched in another area (a possible scenario given by a doctor). I also do not exhibit any swelling and anti-inflammatory medications do not work either. I have been taking Ibuprofen and Meloxicam, separately of course.

Initially, the first doctor I saw thought it was something called jumper's knee and told me to strengthen my quads. I said ok, even though I have strong legs. I isolated my quads and strengthened them with no improvement. I was then told it might be runner's knee and to do the same thing. I went to PT and I had zero improvement.

Next I received an X-Ray and it showed all my bones and structures were intact. I then had an MRI done and it also showed nothing torn or damaged in my knee. It is very frustrating that nobody has an answer, and I have not been able to play sports or really exercise how I would like. It has caused me to become depressed and my daily QOL has diminished because I can no longer run, bend/squat when my knee is acting up, and if it isn't, it will quickly get painful if I try any of these activities.

I am fed up with Kaiser, however, I have changed my primary and saw the new doctor today who seemed much more receptive. By the way, kaiser does not like being told they are not doing a stellar job. I received blood work for blood diseases etc. that may be a culprit and he is taking my MRI for a 2nd opinion. However, I need to decide if I am going to change insurances this month with my company and start shelling out more money for a PPO or stick with Kaiser and give this new doctor a shot.

Does anyone have any suggestions or experienced anything similar to this? This has taken over my life and I just want someone to give me an answer.

Thanks for reading and if anything, it felt good to vent.
  • Chronic back pain for 6 years
  • Epidurals, PT, occasional relief
  • Hurt back severely during college football
  • Ruptured L5 S1 and nerve damage
  • Hemilaminectomy/Discectomy, medial facectomy on 2-20-03
  • Pain is getting better every week
  • Residual numbness and pain in foot, butt, calf
  • Rehabing at new PT and getting better
  • Still have numbness and occasional pain in leg
  • Eric Davis goes to the same PT as me! I'm in good hands!

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Old 10-29-2010, 07:13 AM   #2
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Re: Mystery knee pain says Kaiser

I wish I could help since I seem to be having a similar problem a year after TKR done by the finest doctor in my city. I feel as nothing has been done no matter what kind of exercises I do and therefore I have been lax about doing them thinking they are not helping. I will be seeing my Ortho in a few weeks and if he can't help and thinks all is well I may see a pain management doctor and see if he can help me.
Hang in there and if you do find some kind of doctor to help you please let us know.

Old 10-31-2010, 11:36 AM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2005
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reyez HB User
Re: Mystery knee pain says Kaiser

I definitly feel your pain. I hurt myself a little over two years ago and the dr really couldnt see anything on the mri. He said since my knee was so unstable he was going to do a lateral release surgery to help the tracking. When he got inside he found my knee was tracking fine but that I had a torn meniscus that didnt show up on the mri. I have even had another dr look at the mri ( the best dr in town) and he couldnt see any tears but I saw the pics after surgery and there was a pretty decent sized tear.

Two years later same thing is happening. No tears shown on MRI. I am having surgery again in a couple weeks to see what is wrong because this dr believes there is another tear. I had cortisone injections both times. two years ago the injection lasted a couple weeks. this time it didnt work at all.

The sucky thing is that kaiser is extrememly hard to deal with. I think my opinion is since this new dr is receptive I would try and see what he says. If not, I would think about switching insurance. Are they giving you medicine or any kind of things for pain? one thing I use that helps is biofreeze. Its a gel I put on my knee that makes it feel like I have an ice pack on it. Might help the pain a little while you are at work or when needed.

Has your knee ever gone out of place? BTW you arnt old enough for them to tell you that your just getting older. How many drs total have you been to?

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