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Knee Pain - Competing Diagnoses?
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Knee Pain - Competing Diagnoses?

I'm a fairly athletic 30 year old (run 20-30 miles per week, play tennis somewhat regularly).  Around New Years, I went for a short jog.  At some point in the run, I felt a few little twinges of pain in my left knee, but nothing too painful.  After finishing, my knee progressively got more and more sore and swollen to the point that I was walking with a pronounced limp and especially struggling to go up and down stairs.  The pain was bad for a few days, but it gradually improved and the swelling went down.  However, I continued to have mild pain that becomes more pronounced when I'm going upstairs.  My knee will also get swollen and stiff at seemingly random points during the day, perhaps related to how I'm sitting.  The pain seems to be primarily on the inside of my leg right by the kneecap, although it is spread out over most of hte knee.  However, I notice the swelling on the outside part of the knee as well and I get a clicking noise/sensation on the outside part of the knee when I bend my knee.  I also notice the pain when I'm lying in bed and rolling over or otherwise shifting how I'm lying.

My primary care doctor did some range-of-motion tests and thought it was a torn meniscus.  However, the orthopedist he referred me to diagnosed it as tendonitis and prescribed a 10-day stint of anti-inflammatories.  The anti-inflammatories seemed to alleviate the pain to some degree (though not entirely), but that improvement disappeared once I stopped taking the anti-inflammatory after the 10-day stint was over.  At this point, I can generally walk on it without pain (except for going upstairs, which remains painful), but even the slightest bit of jogging (for example to catch a bus) causes pain as does riding a bike.  

Any thoughts?  I'm supposed to go see a physical therapist next week based on the tendonitis diagnosis, but I'm also wondering if the orthopedist got it wrong.  Thanks!
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1711789_tn?1361311607
Hi there!

Well, without an evaluation it would be difficult to comment on the situation. Possible causes of knee pain include patellar dislocation, chondromalacia patellae, infections/ inflammations like bursitis, tendonitis, cyst formation, bone growths/ masses, nerve impingement/ pressure, fractures, injuries to internal knee structures etc. Tendonitis may take sometime to resolve depending on its severity. Rest for a few weeks with anti-inflammatory medications and gradual return to activities is recommended. It would be best to discuss the situation with your orthopedician.
Hope this helps.

Take care!
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