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Chronic, Crackling & Popping Sounds, Severe & Dabilitating, Stabbing Knee Pain

Hi my name is Christie and I am 37 years old.

I have a question. I know posting a medical question seems odd online, but I do not have insurance anymore and cannot afford the countless tests I know a doctor would put me through.

For years now I have been having problems with with my knees. It started out with my left knee only and over time my right knee decided to join in the fun of making me miserable on a daily basis. The pain is worse at night and I stay tired all the time because of lack of sleep because of it. I cannot squat or put pressure on my knees.

Anyway for years the pain was mainly at night. If I could keep myself on my back with my legs straight I would be okay - I think any way at least at night time, but when I fall asleep I always roll over on my side and pull my legs up where they are bent. Even if resting in the bed watching show while awake I have noticed it is only when my legs are bent that the pain happens. It is a very severe and stabbing pain that hits me like a ton of bricks. It hurts so bad that it takes a lot for me to get my legs straightened out and I have to get up out of the bed and walk the pain off.

When I sit in a chair with my legs bent like you do when you sit in a chair the same thing. Most of the time I can feel it getting ready to come on when I am in the chair and can get up and walk around for a few minutes before it gets really bad.

Anyway I am thinking it is when my legs are bent that is causing this pain. Don't know what is causing it or why, but it is the only thing I have noticed when the pain hits. Here over the last month even when I am sitting in a chair and don't feel any pain coming on and I go to stand up the stabbing pain has started hitting me this way too now and I can't get my legs to straighten out and all I can do is stand their with my legs not all the way straightened out and want to scream, but bite my tongue because it scares my youngest child when I do so.

My knees always feel like they are bruised like someone has beat my knees all the time during the day especially after a long night of constant pain every time I lay down, but they are not bruised and I have never hurt my knees. The pain runs up into my hips and lower back where they are sore all the time now as well.

I have noticed when I do get my legs straightened out my knees pop really loudly like they were stuck. My husband sometimes has to pull my legs straight for me as I can't seem to straighten them out - I don't know if they just won't straighten out or it hurts so badly I can't get them straightened out. It feels like it is under my knee caps I guess you would call it.

My knees crackle and pop all the time when walking. If I drive anywhere I constantly have to pull over and get out to straighten my legs hopefully before the pain hits too bad, but that is not always the case. I don't always get a chance to pull over or the slight warning before the "bam" when it hits. Sometimes I notice some pain before the severe stabbing pain hits, but sometimes I have no warning at all and it just hits me like a ton of bricks.

Any ideas on what might be causing this? Back years ago when I first started having the knee pain and it was just in one knee I went to an orthopedic and he told me it was something that I would probably just have to deal with and could not see anything. Granted when I saw him I had already been having this problem for over a year and he tells me if I am still having problems in a couple of weeks to come back - now really if over a year it is not gone how is seeing him and for him to say it is probably something you will just have to deal with and if it is not gone in two weeks come back going to help me.

I have every knee brace imaginable trying to find ways to keep my knees from hurting and taking any pressure off them, I have wore big bulky knees braces with metal and all that to try to keep from bending my legs in my sleep, but even in those I can seem to bend them just enough to still have the pain. I have tried ice packs, heating pads, etc. etc. etc. Pain medication does not even touch the pain. It helps the during the day aching I have, but not the stabbing pain when it hits and it sure does not keep it from happening.

I don't know what to do especially now when it does not even seem to matter how much I try to keep my legs straight and I just bend my legs for the second it takes to get up and the pain hits me like a ton of bricks. I have told my doctor about it and he always says you might have arthritis. Even when I had insurance doctors would tell me the same thing. Now does arthritis hurt this bad? Does it keep you from being able to straighten your legs out? Does it only seem to hurt when the knees are bent? Does it make you snap and pop like your elderly? I snap crackle and pop when I walk and my knees making a really loud pop when I have to force them straight after a really bad painful event with my knees. Even when they are not hurting my knees feel like they are going to lock up and I straighten it out real quick for it to pop loudly and even the pop when straightening out my legs is quite painful.

Sorry for the long post. I am lost at what to do. I am tired from lack of sleep because I CAN'T SLEEP because of the constant pain. My husband says before he sees me jump out of the bed in pain that I wimper and whine and cry a lot in my sleep right before he sees me pop up. Over the years he has figured out when I start to whimper and he is awake he immediately jumps up and pulls my legs straight for me which is very helpful - still hurts the same, but at least it don't take as long to get my legs straightened out to be able to get up and walk around until the pain subsides enough for me to lay back down, but only to go through the entire thing again. I am going to have to build myself a wooden box so I stay on my back and not have room to roll over and bend my legs in my sleep. Even sitting here typing this out I could not tell you how long it took having to constantly get up before the pain hits hard.

Thanks for any tips. Any questions just ask as I say I am leaving out some important stuff that I am not aware of.
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