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very sharp pain on left side of right knee

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very sharp pain on left side of right knee

Posted by deb on May 04, 2002 at 10:34:27:

i have checked all the knee postings and do not see anything similar to what i have. and i also want to say upfront that i very much appreciate the service you are offering through this site! great job!!
i am a 52-year old woman in pretty good shape: 5'8" and 130 pounds. i am very limber and exercise (walking, mainly) regularly. for the past 8 months i've had a periodic serious problem with my knee. i will describe the symptoms below, but first i want to mention that i've seen an ortho surgeon, had x-rays & and mri. he initially thought it was a torn meniscus, but nothing showed up on the mri. next step is to do exploratory arthroscopic surgery -- which i am desperately trying to avoid.
my symptoms are this: every couple of months i do something (step funny, i guess) and i get a severe pain on the left side of my right knee. it is accompanied by a general looseness/wobbliness of the knee. the pain stops as soon as i take weight off the knee. the episodes last 4-7 days during which time the knee is very wobbly and subject to more sharp pains. also during this time i have to use a cane to walk and i can't lead off with my right leg when going downstairs. but there is never any swelling.
after the episode subsides, i resume my leg strengthening exercises recommended by my physical therapist and i walk 2 miles a day to keep the leg strong. my leg is pretty good in between episodes, although it feels a little achy and it makes clicking noises sometimes.
i just had my annual physical. my gp says i do not have arthritis in my knee and that it seems normal otherwise. he thinks it might be a piece of cartilege or something that periodically gets caught in the knee joint. he also thinks it's possible i might do my knee more harm than good by avoiding the exploratory surgery and going the strengthening route instead. he suggested i go back to the ortho AS SOON AS the next episode hits (when i went to the ortho before, it was after an episode had subsided).
i'm afraid to do this since i'm guessing the ortho will strongly suggest exploratory surgery again. i don't mean to be a wussy, it's just that i've read horror stories of people whose knees were never the same again after surgery.
what do you think? do i risk doing harm on my current course? anybody have anything similar? i'd appreciate any and all advice! thank you.



Re: very sharp pain on left side of right knee

Posted by Happygal on May 04, 2002 at 11:49:13:

In Reply to: very sharp pain on left side of right knee posted by deb on May 04, 2002 at 10:34:27:

Deb,

There is a muscle attachment site on the inside of each knee that often causes pain for people. It is called the pes anserinus. Have a professional massage therapist who specializes in deep tissue or neuromuscular therapy check out the entire area around this site and all the muscles that connect to it. The muscles that lead to it may be tight, the connective tissue may be bunched up and fibrotic, which might be causing irritation there.

I've seen people in my office with a similar description and we were able to heal the problem, so you might check it out.

Happygal (Certified Massage Therapist)



Re: very sharp pain on left side of right knee (Archive in knee.)

Posted by Walt Stoll on May 05, 2002 at 09:04:59:

In Reply to: very sharp pain on left side of right knee posted by deb on May 04, 2002 at 10:34:27:

Thanks, Deb.

I think yout GP is likely right. The diagnosis is osteochondrosis (look it up). The little pieces of cartilege that break off are getting caught between your femoral and tibial surfaces, occasionally.

The first thing you must do is stop weight bearing exercises and start under water exercises (all communities with an indoor pool now have these programs available to the public). It would help if you avoided any stairs, too.

The next thing is to start 750 milligrams of glucosamine sulphate twice a day. I am very surprised that your docs have not already suggested this.

Next, add the esentila fatty acids on the home page. You may have to add MSM to this mix if this is not enough to help within a few months.

Finally, eliminating bracing is the ultimate thing you will need to do to prevent recurrance. See the archives for any unfamiliar terms.

Because there is already a deteriorating piece of cartilege floating around in your joint, you may still have some recurrances for a couple of years.

Let us know what you learn and how you do.

Walt

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Re: very sharp pain on left side of right knee (Archive.)

Posted by Walt Stoll on May 05, 2002 at 09:25:44:

In Reply to: Re: very sharp pain on left side of right knee posted by Happygal on May 04, 2002 at 11:49:13:

Thanks, Happygal.

We are not taught this kind of stuff in medical school. I really appreciate your sharing your expertise with the BB!

Namaste`

Walt

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