Why is my knee killing me?
July 6, 2007 8:59 PM   Subscribe

Why is my knee killing me?

About three days ago, my knee began to hurt. It's fine when I'm sitting or lying down, but when I get up, or squat to sit down on the couch or the toilet or whatever I feel an intense pain around my knee in my left leg.

The pain is mostly located at the front of the knee and a little at the back, but there is also a lot of pain just below the knee at the front of my leg.

One other thing that this seems to be doing is preventing me from bending my leg very far.

I'm aware that AskMe is not a replacement for a real doctor's opinion, but I am just wondering if anyone else has experienced this or might know what it is. Will it go away anytime soon by itself or is this something far more serious?
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
Not a doctor, but since the pain is distributed around your knee could mean there is excess fluid inside. Does it appear swollen? And, go see a doctor, for god's sake.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:02 PM on July 6, 2007

I posted a question regarding knee pain a while back, although my knee pain occurs when I un-bend my knees.

In any case, mine just comes and goes. Are you sure you didn't sleep on it funny or something? I've had pains from that and other injuries I didn't even notice which last for a few days or longer.
posted by sian at 9:04 PM on July 6, 2007

When did the pain become noticeable? Did you do anything to aggravate it? This will help with formulating suggestions as to the cause.
posted by Octoparrot at 9:17 PM on July 6, 2007

The pain really became noticeable Thursday morning when I woke up (it's now Saturday afternoon where I live).

The only thing I can think of that might have been responsible was my trip home from work on Wednesday afternoon, where I spent an hour on the bus in a cramped seat. I remember when the larger person sitting in front of me got off and I was able to stretch my leg it felt good. I also remember when I got off the bus myself my leg felt kind of sore, but I have been in similar public transport predicaments before and didn't feel any worse the next day as I do now.
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments at 9:23 PM on July 6, 2007

Will it go away anytime soon by itself or is this something far more serious?

Without an examination, it's nigh-impossible to say what this is. It could be any number of things. But the first step is to get some HI-RICE going, and if it stays this way, see a doctor.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:28 PM on July 6, 2007

This sounds as if it could be patellofemoral syndrome.

What is patellofemoral pain?
Patellofemoral pain is a common knee problem. If you have this condition, you feel pain under and around your kneecap. The pain can get worse when you're active or when you sit for a long time. You can have the pain in only one knee, or you can have pain in both knees.

The exact cause of patellofemoral pain isn't known. It probably has to do with the way your kneecap (patella) moves on the groove of your thigh bone (femur).

This site
talks about it more and describes some exercises that can help improve things, but it will take some time.

I first developed PFS when I was running several days a week, but also spending 90 minutes on buses between Toronto and Hamilton every weekday. If self-help doesn't improve things, you should try to get to a physiotherapist.
posted by maudlin at 9:35 PM on July 6, 2007

If your knee is locking or catching you might have torn the meniscus. When I did that I had the same kind of pain and the doctor was able to tell right away by doing a simple physical exam.
posted by fshgrl at 9:38 PM on July 6, 2007

There are any number of things that can cause knee pain. It is really impossible to diagnose it from your description.
posted by Manjusri at 9:50 PM on July 6, 2007

Do you have foot problems? I have patellofemoral issues caused by 18 years of no one telling me that I am flatfooted and wasn't walking correctly. Foot problems can often lead to knee problems, or so I am told.
posted by liesbyomission at 10:25 PM on July 6, 2007

Could be knee bursitis. IMNAD, that's just my vote.

If it still hurts on Monday, I'd see a doctor, preferably a sports medicine specialist.
posted by yohko at 5:21 AM on July 7, 2007

Do you drive a lot? I find myself braking with both feet when I am stressed, and since the footrest for the left foot doesn't move the way the right foot's brake pedal does,my left knee ends up sore.
posted by joannemerriam at 10:13 AM on July 7, 2007

I bet it goes away in 3 days
posted by matteo at 5:23 PM on July 7, 2007

« Older Timer Troubles   |   Which Edward Tufte book should a scientist read? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.