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Meniscal tear or something else?
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Meniscal tear or something else?

I used to play a lot of soccer and have not in years, but I remember having knee and ankle pain quite often, enough so that I frequently wore knee braces and wrapped both ankles.

Recently I started playing golf, and after playing one day I noticed some knee pain.  I don't remember a specific incident or the actual onset of pain - it just seemed to gradually appear.  I also noticed that I was hearing a lot of popping noises, which is usual, but now I was able to feel movement in my knee and pain when the popping occurred.  In addition, when I tried to straighten my knee it would sometimes catch and I'd have to wiggle my knee to get it straight - and sometimes when I did this, something moved in my knee that seemed more like a "clunk" than a pop!  I also noticed that sometimes if I knelt down on that knee, I felt a cushiony sensation even though my knee didn't look swollen - and that sometimes it would pop painfully as if my knee was "settling" - my body would shift lower.

I saw my general doctor after the first week, and an x-ray didn't show anything abnormal.  He put me in a knee stabilizer for almost 2 weeks, during which the pain didn't improve.  I then saw an orthopedic doctor who said it could be one of three things - a meniscal tear, a piece of torn off meniscus getting caught in my knee joint, or just inflammation.  He said to give it about a month and return for a follow-up appointment (scheduled for late May).  He said I could continue to play golf and should even walk and exercise the knee as it could help.

It's been a couple of weeks since I saw him, and I'm now noticing that in addition to the popping while straightening or kneeling and the resulting pain, I can't walk up or down stairs or hills without more pain.  There is also pain when I inadvertently twist my knee (if I turn while walking) or if I try to get up from a sitting position by placing most of my weight on that leg.

My confusion lies in the usual symptoms of meniscal injuries - I've had no swelling, my knee doesn't lock completely.  Is this a meniscal tear?  Could it be that an old injury is starting to cause this years later?  Do my symptoms seem to warrant surgical repair or is there some way I can get it to heal without surgery?  I've tried a knee brace, no help, and NSAIDS just treat the pain.

Thank you!
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3 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
hi buddy,
it surely looks like a torn meniscus. You will require a MRI scan to know about more details about your knee. Torn meniscus has to be dealt properly, else later life arthritis chances will increase. causing pain and aony. So meet the orthopaedician again, get the MRI done. hope you have medical insurance.
Keep posting more,
regards
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your answer - it keeps getting stranger.  I have found something called "articular cartilage injury" and my symptoms seem more in line with that!
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
dear buddy,
articular cartilage injury can be secondary due to torn meniscus. So the primary reason can be meniscus injury,which is causing articular cartilage damage, I had said about arthritis. Well buddy, articular cartilage damage leads to arthritis,
Regards
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