Orthopedics Community
Intermittent, sharp, pain, of short duration on side of knee cap
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to orthopedics, back pain, bone or joint pain, broken bones, hip or knee replacement, neck and shoulder pain, orthopedic surgery, spinal injury, sports injury, and tennis elbow.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Intermittent, sharp, pain, of short duration on side of knee cap

I have intermittent very sharp pain just outside the inner part of my right knee cap. There is no swelling, redness, or sensitivity of the area, and it comes very suddenly, and passes within 5 -15 seconds. The pain is very intense. It can come while I'm immobile, or even sleeping. It doesn't feel like muscle or bone pain. I am a 47 year old male, very thin, and in good shape. I bike outdoors and use an eliptic machine indoors. No running or any other kind of pounding sports (had ACL repair of left knee 16 years ago and it's never been the same since. My orthopedist told me never to run again).
I went to an orthopedist for this pain and he had no suggestions. He checked the mobility and motion of my knee.
I can't find any symptoms like it anywhere on the Internet. I stopped all exercise a couple of weeks ago and it seemed to get better, and then last night in bed it came back, twice within a couple of minutes.
Has anyone heard of symptoms like this?
Related Discussions
31 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
1711789 tn?1361311607
Hi there!

Well, without a clinical evaluation it would be difficult to determine the cause of your discomfort/ pain. Likely possibilities that may need to be considered with pain around the knee cap include chondromalacia patellae, tendonitis, bursitis, fractures, patellar dislocation, injuries to the internal knee ligaments/ menisci, infections/ inflammations, arthritis, cyst formation, growths etc. I would suggest consulting an orthopedician for an evaluation and appropriate management. Meanwhile you may try resting the knee with some OTC NSAIDS to relieve the pain.
Hope this helps.

Take care!
Blank
Avatar m tn
Hi kneepain51. I started having something very similar a few weeks ago; only difference is my pain is right on the knee cap. I hit my knee on something and it hurt pretty bad for about 5-10 seconds and then I didn't have any pain at all until 3 days later in the middle of the night. It was as if I had hit my knee again and it keeps happening since then. The pain is very severe. It has happened 5-6 times in the last 3 weeks, about 10-15 sec. long, always in the middle of the night. I think it can be happening when I extend my leg after being folded for a long time while I'm asleep.

Anyway, my question is, did you ever find out what was happening to you?
Blank
Avatar m tn
Wow, I have had the same exact problem and could find nothing online.  I saw two doctors who both looked at me like I was crazy and could find nothing wrong with my knee (although all I got was a cursory exam).  My pains went away after a few months.  This was probably two years ago and they have not returned since.  The pain was awful.  Easily a 10.  I would writhe around for a few seconds and it would be gone.  As you described, it could happen anywhere, at any time.  As you posted a couple of years ago, I am curious to hear if your pain has stopped as mine has, and if you ever got any answers.
Blank
Avatar n tn
Same problem started with me about a month ago.  Very intermittent, not every day, no recollection of any injury.  Very sharp, just a second or two of intensely sharp pain.  Can't find anything about it.  If anyone knows anymore, please post.
Blank
Avatar f tn
I, too, have had this kind of sharp intermittent knee pain that only happens on occasion.  It only last a few seconds but it is pretty intense, enough for me to grab my knee at the time of the pain. It just happens randomly every few months or so and only last about a day.  It's right under my kneecap.  I haven't had any injuries to the knee so I am at a loss.
Blank
Avatar m tn
I have the same symptoms. Incredible, short duration pain that comes without warning, not related to any exercise or motion, frequency of once/day to day and a half   Have any of the people that posted learned more re: diagnosis, treatment etc..? I will see Orthopedic Doctor in a few days and input for that conversation would be helpful.    
Blank
Avatar n tn
I too am currently experiencing the same intense sporadic pain directly below my right knee cap. It happened once before while I was sleeping but stopped within a few hours. This time however it has continued past sleeping hours. Short bursts of intense pain whether standing up or laying down. I am 58 yrs old, petite women in good health otherwise. No current strenuous physical activity. Am wondering if anyone on this thread has gotten a diagnosis. I
Would appreciate any comments or feedback.
Blank
Avatar m tn
I have about as much of a clue as to what causes this as anyone else on here, but I'm equally curious. Back in December 2012 I began experiencing intermittent sharp pain in my knee (backside of leg where the knee buckles) and it would last only a few seconds and then go away as if nothing happened. It happened at complete random, all detective work led nowhere, for all I knew someone could have been shoving a needle in a voodoo doll of me. After about 4 months it stopped happening for a good while, but this month it's starting to happen again, only worse. Now the pain is almost to the level of a charlie horse, pierces all the way through my knee and lasts more than 30 seconds each time. It happens anywhere from 1 to 4 times every day.
Blank
Avatar m tn
Very interesting. I have exactly the same problem you all describe. Haven't seen anyone about it - yet, but beginning to think it is vascular rather than skeletal in nature. Good luck fellow knee sufferers : )
Blank
Avatar m tn
It could be vascular but I have a strong feeling it's nerve related. I found this:
http://www.paincommunitycentre.org/article/neuropathic-pain

'paroxysmal pain' pretty much nails it. I have to ask though, is the knee pain your only symptom? I also have a problem with temperature fluctuations in my lower leg (especially foot and usually only when seated) and have a feeling of tightness/discomfort in my hip area on that side, too, but that didn't show up until later. Makes me wonder if the culprit could be compression of the sciatic nerve.
Blank
11909625 tn?1422033775
I started googling because of my symptom and found this thread. I have had same thing sporadically over last several days. Last night it was consistently intermittent, almost like "labor Pains" of the knee, at times one minute apart.Ibuprofen seemed to make no difference. Putting pressure on the area helped, or relaxing through the 5 seconds more or less it lasted. I also have had it during the day, again - sporadically. Shortly after the pain the area is tender to the touch. I have also wondered about a vascular or nerve issue. Has anyone tried wrapping or ice? I may tonight. It is not the aching pain of arthritis, or the pain on stair climbing or activity, for instance. More like a needle/injection. Affects the left side of right kneecap. I am 66 y.o. female, fit and healthy otherwise, but do have arthritis/spur in that knee, which flares up occasionally mainly that pain is on the outer right side of the knee. It is not bothering me now.
Blank
Avatar f tn
This has been happening for me as well. It feels like a hot needle piercing just the skin and surface of the left side of my left kneecap. My partner's parents are doctors, and they said it may be a bone spur catching on a nerve or something. I haven't had it looked at, because I feel like the doc would think I was a hypochondriac. The pain comes out of nowhere. I tried to make it happen manually by pressing on it, but it's totally random; laying down, walking, sitting. Especially happens while I'm sitting. Worst pain ever, I can't think of anything else for the 15 seconds it lasts. I was doing school work with papers on my lap, stood up and dropped everything all over the floor because the pain came on and was so intense. I'm a 25 year old female and healthy otherwise!
Blank
Avatar f tn
I'm glad I'm not alone - for the last month I've had a similar pain that hits my inner left knee with excruciating pain for 10-30 seconds/5-10 times a day, and has woken me up at night.  I'm a 52 yo F, healthy, moderately active (nothing that would cause overuse or trauma.)  I've never had knee problems before.  Started after I slept on a short couch with my feet up - I might have overextended my legs.  Ice and topical ointment (Blue gel w/Emu Oil, Tiger Balm) help;  heat makes it worse. Not sure if Motrin or Aleve have helped - might be calming it overall but doesn't help with the intense spurts of pain. If this pain pattern continues for much longer, I'm going to see a provider and I'll report back any findings.  Hope we can all get some relief!  
Blank
Avatar m tn
I am fit and otherwise healthy 32 year old. I have been experiencing sharp pain just above my left knee at random times and it lasts anywhere between few minutes to few hours.

I usually apply Volini and wrap it up with sprain band and it seems to work until the next occurrence.

Did any of you get it diagnosed and cured? Am planning to go to a Ortho soon but would like to get an idea on how serious it is and do I need to be there at Ortho at the advent of pain or can they diagnose even when the pain is not there?
Blank
Avatar m tn
I'm a 55 year old male in good shape, long time runner and athlete but now more of a jogger 2-3 times a week 3 miles. Never had any knee troubles. 2 weeks ago just standing still this sharp jabbing pain came out of nowhere for 10-20 seconds...outside of my left knee. I passed it off then a few days later it hit again....very sharp and severe pain that nearly makes me faint then slowly goes away. Happens to me sitting, standing, walking....all random. Otherwise I walk a lot each day, run 3 days a week, no problems. it's been happening more frequent lately. I went to my PCP and I'm in a knee brace and on Naproxen and Tizanidine for 2 weeks. first day nothing, then twice yesterday and one this morning. It feels like a needle/nail being driven into the side of my knee...then I'm perfectly fine again. This is the first pain I've ever been afraid of....anyone have answers to this?
Blank
Avatar f tn
I also have this sudden sharp pain in my knee. Feels more like a nerve pain and is so intense it takes my breath away. Many times it is if I move or bend a certain way. I did see a specialist. After xrays, and MRI I was diagnosed with multiple bone infarcts in my knee. This is basically dead bone and my Dr. did not seem to concerned about it. I am seeking another opinion, because when it happens the whole world stops. I am not able to walk or put any weight on it until it goes away. Then it is gone as if nothing happened.  I am not overweight and still continue to exercise on my treadmill. It is very strange, to say the least.
Blank
Avatar m tn
Hi All,

Recently this year I gotten this sharp and irritating electrifying pain on my right knee. As said, it can happened any where and time. I tried all means like applying ice,but it seems not getting better. The worse I encounter such pain when I was watching tv and it took the pain to go off after 20 mins. I tried to strengthen and relax but to no avail. No swell after the pain go off.
Went to see orthopaedic and x-ray shows normal. Now doc recommend to go for physiotherapy, will this help?
The pain I have is becoming more frequent. Really getting more and more demoralized.
Blank
Avatar m tn
For the last 3 days I have been having similar symptoms.  EXTREMELY sharp pain, never had such an intense pain, on the lower left quadrant of my right knee.  It would last seconds, often followed by a few second burst of lesser pain.  It didn't seem to occur when I was making any particular movement.  I have noticed that it occurred 2 times when I crossed my right leg over my left knee, driving, sitting at the computer and lying down.  I was thinking nerves, like a neuroma; sometimes the second smaller pain burst seems to be pulsating, so I thought about blood vessels. Once I tried massaging the area after an attack and that was very painful.  I was at the ortho today for a left elbow sprain and asked him about my knee.  He pressed on the area where the pain had occurred, which was the exact spot, said there was a bursa sac right below, that it was bursitis, that I had overused it, should reduce activity, use heat and Advil for a few days.  We'll see.  No xrays taken.
Blank
Avatar m tn
For the last 3 days I have been having similar symptoms.  EXTREMELY sharp pain, never had such an intense pain, on the lower left quadrant of my right knee.  It would last seconds, often followed by a few second burst of lesser pain.  It didn't seem to occur when I was making any particular movement.  I have noticed that it occurred 2 times when I crossed my right leg over my left knee, driving, sitting at the computer and lying down.  I was thinking nerves, like a neuroma; sometimes the second smaller pain burst seems to be pulsating, so I thought about blood vessels. Once I tried massaging the area after an attack and that was very painful.  I was at the ortho today for a left elbow sprain and asked him about my knee.  He pressed on the area where the pain had occurred, which was the exact spot, said there was a bursa sac right below, that it was bursitis, that I had overused it, should reduce activity, use heat and Advil for a few days.  We'll see.  No xrays taken.
Blank
Avatar f tn
kneepain15 did it ever work? I'm a 22 yo female with this problem right above right side of left kneecap. It's very short 2-3 second then like nothing happened.
Blank
Avatar m tn
I've been having the EXACT same problems as you all. Sudden, sharp pain on the inner side of my knee close to my kneecap. It's intense, lasts for 15-20 seconds (sometimes has lasted closer to a minute), and practically debilitates me when it happens. It's completely random, although it seems to come on almost always when I'm either sitting or lying down (rarely when I'm standing and almost never during activity like sports or exercise). I've done a lot of looking around the Internet and there doesn't seem to be a condition/diagnosis that really fits. I'm planning on getting my chiropractor to help, as I'm sure an orthopod would just prescribe antibiotics or write it off, especially based on some of you all's experiences. Please post back on here if any of you get an answer to this problem. I have found that taking Garden of Life FYI joint and cartilage formula (on Amazon) has made it almost completely go away, but if I get inconsistent with taking it the pain will come back. Really want to know what this is. I'm 37 and am generally not sporty, just regular activity level although I play drums every week on Sundays and Wednesdays (this pain has never hit me while drumming interestingly).
Blank
Avatar m tn
Same boat as you all. Insanely intense pain, out of nowhere, then completely gone! This has been going on for almost a year now for me. Some days/weeks are better than others - attacks are less frequent or even non existent. Then other times it happens 3-5 times a day. I do find quite often that if I bend down and touch my toes while the attack is happening this lends some relief which leads me to believe that it's related to a nerve and/or fascia in my back which runs down into my knee.  The extent to which this condition is so painful and so similar among everyone posting here - to the point that it makes you literally afraid of the pain thus greatly affecting quality of life -  it surprises me that there are no definitive medical answers.  I've tried chiro, physio, massage, IMS (muscular trigger point therapy), and am now considering platelet injections.
Blank
Avatar f tn
31 yr. Old male. My pain began 5-6 years ago. Unlike most of you my pain seems to have moved over time as well as decreased a bit. I'd never had any knee pain befor the day it started to happen. And the first time it did i had just thrown a heavy 50 gallon trash bag out. Back then, my pain would trigger (right side) from my waistline just below the hip, down my thigh and end horribly outside the knee cap. The pain would be so intense it dropped me to the ground each time. Like you all it would only last maybe 5-15 seconds and suprise, like it was never there. I've even gone 6 months without an episode just to have it come back multiple times daily. Three years ago my doc. said i was suffering from runners knee. I run but not so much for this to be a constant. Through the years the pain has left my hip and thigh. Now the pain is just in the knee. And its less severe. The only change I can recall making is not having my wallet in my back pocket anymore. I also believe its a nerve problem. After it happens sometimes i can press the small of my back and feel soreness. I think it somehow radiates from there, down my leg and into my knee area. Hope it helps ppl. Been going through a long time. Good luck
Blank
Avatar f tn
I have a question...other than provide a place for people to realize that they are not alone with knee pain problems, what is the purpose of this site? Do I have to belong to something to hear/read the solutions, treatments, and cures?
Blank
Avatar m tn
I have had this twice, once about 5 months ago, just walking in the house and this morning, reading paper & drinking coffee..  Suddenly a sharp pain in my left knee that caused me to say "OUCH, WTF"  my wife asked if I needed her and could she get some rub,, 30 seconds later it's gone. I think nerve problem cause any muscle thing doesn't come and go that fast. My knees have always "snapped" when climbing stairs, took a stretching class last years, " put your back against the wall and slide down"  the noise from my knees told me "No,, not for us" I will mention this to my Dr  but don't expect him to have any ideas due to the time lapse.. I'm 68, not prime jogging guy...
Blank
Avatar m tn
My wife has experienced this sharp, scream worthy, dibilitating pain in her knee lasting no more than 5 seconds, since she was 12 years old.

She's 60 now. she calls it a dislocation, of what I don't know. Any position, anytime every few months. Sometimes a year in between

No doctor has helped her, it happens in both knees now, the last time was driving down the "I" yesterday, so I thought I would google this, it is good in a way to see others have this problem, but sad I found no answers.
Blank
Avatar f tn
I have the exact same symptom. Very sharp stabbing pain out of nowhere, left side of my left knee, right under the skin. Feels more like a nerve issue than a joint issue. Lasts about 10-15 seconds and then disappears. My husband has had knee problems for over 15 years, and he says it is a meniscus issue. Time to see the doctor, I guess.
Blank
Avatar m tn
I feel same needle-like sharp pain at the right side of my right knee just below the kneecap. It happens once in a while, some times 2 - 3 times in a day and lasts for about 15 - 30 secs. The pain is extremely intense and i usually hold my leg and try not to move until the pain is gone. It happens mostly when am sitted or lying down and on few occasions while walking. I have been experiencing this for over 5 years now, haven't seen any doctor yet cos the pain comes and goes almost immediately. I am 27 years old, female. If anyone finds anything that can be helpful, kindly share with us, your fellow knee-pain sufferers :)
Blank
Avatar m tn
I think I know what the cause of this is (I had this same complaint, amonst other things).

While most of what you'll find online regarding the topic I'm about to discuss is absolute quackery, there is still a baby in all that bathwater (and there is a lot of bathwater). I'll share my opinion of that 'baby', what I feel is the reason within the quack, and leave it up to the rest of you to think critically and form your own view.

A nature inhabitant of our gut flora has been given too smooth a ride in modern society. This bacteria-like organism lives in vast quantities in your gut and has a decided advantage in the areas of antibiotics and immune cells, but are otherwise quite weak and vulnerable. Kept in check by the other bacteria, they're usually held down to a managable amount and usefully digest heavy metals and other things that would be bad for us if left to build up in our system.

When allowed (primarily through the destruction of their competition, and also through lapses in our immune function), they'll form a sort of viking megalopolis and begin working together to tunnel through your gut wall, where the individuals that pop out from the root-like structure they push together to form roam suicidally around your blood stream (they generally don't last long on their own).

Your immune system can take these guys out in small numbers (en masse they produce a cloud of gliotoxin; that's how they reach their armistice with the immune system in our gut) and their marauding is only really dangerous in the case of severely immunosuppressed individuals (HIV, cancer treatments).

However, if left to grow to obscene amounts they can still do debately-significant but noticable damage to your gut wall (to varying degrees depending on genetics) and they release a lot of highly irritating toxins through their digestion and upon death.

If these daring warriors are a little too proliferous in your system, you'd might feel a little drunk after doing a shot of glucose (they digest carbs into ethanol) but probably mostly hung over (they digest some ethanol for energy and excrete acetaldehyde; the same chemical your brain produces in its metabolism of ethanol into acetaldehyde - less dangerous but vastly more irritating and thought to be the reason we experience hangovers)

The blood from your gut flows first into your thighs and that's likely where the immune battle with tunneling mauraders begins and ends. The resulting death cloud of acetaldehyde, ethanol, gliotoxin and other irritants from the defeat of these adventurous yeast cells spills constantly over your joints and causes acute inflammation, especially after just consuming carbs (and feeding these local flora into a more proliferous and adventurous state).

For me, it was just a theory. Then I started taking a lot of caprylic acid (the coconut's natural defense mechanism against fungal infections) and eating raw garlic; taking multiple probiotic strains that were shown by research to be highly competitive with yeasts (and fungus in general) and honestly I just feel perfectly healthy now. I feel like I did 10 years ago (currently 28) and even as a born skeptic I'm convinced that the underlying argument for the control of candida albicans in your gi tract is valid.

That weird recurring knee pain went away fairly quickly, along with probably a dozen other health complaints that have been attributed to this 'dysbiosis' by others.


- - -
TL;DR: Try lots of caprylic acid and probiotics (l. acidophils; b. infantis; b. bifidum). Also of note is garlic, grapefruit seed extract, oil of oregano, sauerkraut, kim chi.

Hope it works for you. Good luck.
Blank
Avatar m tn
I forgot to add, I took molybdenum (periodic table, no. 42) initially while taking the caprylic acid. I got a really nasty hangover the first day of taking caprylic acid which went away upon starting molybdenum.

I think it's recommended you take them together, as the resulting spike of acetaldehyde etc. from the death of the yeast in your gut (although most of it is converted into acetic acid by your liver) in sufficient amounts can cause brain cell death amongst other things.

Gesundheit!
Blank
Avatar f tn
I had same symptom 2 years ago .. My specialist doctor diagnosed arthritis .. What was happening was a piece of torn tissue seemed to be ocaisionall touching a nerve in my knee ...I could have had key hole surgery but he suggested to wait and see if this small piece of tissue would break off naturally .. I think this happened a few weeks later ... I have same problem now .. Can't get appointment for few weeks .. Will see how I goes
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Orthopedics Community Resources