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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?
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Avatar universal
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.
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1 Comments
Same herr. Had it recurring five years ago for a month. Was very fangerous when driving. I got an accupuncture treatment with electric wires attached to the needles. It went away immediately, till last week. Noe its worse than before, and more constant. Makes me scrram and cry. Worse pain imaginable. Crying right now.  Have an appointment for accupuncture tomorrow. Worried about the drive both ways. Right knee. The needles hurt like hell around the knee, but it works.
Avatar universal
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.
Helpful - 2
Avatar universal
Hello everyone. I have found a solution to the electric shock like pain in the knee problem. I currently work as a personal trainer in Norway. This jolting pain is most likely caused by VMO - or Vastus Medialis Oblique, one of your inner thigh muscles - left side of quads. My solution is to get a hold of a foam roller - you might have to buy one, but usually training centers have one. What to do: You need to lie down on the floor with the foam roller and put your inner thigh perpendicular on it. Start rolling back and forth applying alot of pressure with your body weight. This should be very uncomfortable and will hurt alot when done correctly. Do very long rolls from the base of the knee, all the way to the top of your inner thigh. This can become physically straining and you might have to take short breaks or do sets of rolls. I usually do 30-50 hard rolls (very uncomfortable) and it fixes the problem for me INSTANTLY!
It's not completely gone, I do get it from time to time, but then I just repeat the rolling and it's gone again. The rolling looks very silly though and might best be done alone, but to get rid of this incredibly excruciating knee pain it's worth it! I had this problem for many years before I did this. This usually works on MANY other muscle problems - foam roll before you go the surgery route! Hope this works for you all! :)
Helpful - 2
2 Comments
Diagram or photo appreciated
50 year old active male and I have the exact symptoms....
I have also noticed that the thigh muscle on the inside of my knee gets very tight and painful at times.
I'm going to try with the roller as this now seems to point in that area....
Avatar universal
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...
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
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
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
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 :)
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
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.
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
My story is similar to many of these except my pain is on the bottom outer (lateral) part of my knee, maybe an inch below the bottom of the kneecap.

The pain is excruciating, hits without warning, and goes away just as quickly, seemingly not dependent on whether I'm active or at rest. I had an MRI and it showed only low grade chondromalacia (slight erosion of the cartilage under the kneecap).

After a few days of this the pain went away and I was fine for 3 months, at which point it came back as bad as before. I've seen orthopedic specialists who have only recommended NSAIDs and physical therapy.

Hope you all find relief!
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
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?
Helpful - 1
1 Comments
Good Question!
Avatar universal
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.
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
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).
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Avatar universal
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.
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
Having the same pain as everyone describes in this forum. Looking to see if I can match any similarities to daily actives that may have cause this sharp pain out of no where. For me, the pain happens in the inner part of my left knee (started out just below the knee cap and kind of moved in). I am a (left) side sleeper and woke up to the pain in my left knee and noticed my right knee is always resting on top of my left knee when i sleep. Thinking the pressure from the right knee all these years have cause my left knee pain. I also notice i get the pain after i have been sitting down in a computer chair and have had my left leg propped up with no support under the knee (this is when i first felt the sharp paint out of now where). Lastly, I use to sit in computer chair with my left foot propped up on the chair and/or sitting in a computer chair with left foot under my right knee (making a '4' shape with my legs). I have full range of motion with my knee and do not get any other pain other than the sharp pain out of no where (usually lasting 5-10 seconds). im 30, M and 5'11 165 and pretty active. Was using the RICE method but after seeing the doctor yesterday finally after months of pain and not seeing any results, i started to use heat and just last week started doing the foam roller as described above.
Helpful - 1
2 Comments
Figured out it was Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), or runner's knee. I would get the sharp pain when sitting and having my knee bent for too long. Started stretching and using a foam roller in the morning, in the evening, and once before bed. Been icing my knee twice a day for 20 minutes each time. Just bought resistant bands and planning on doing physical therapy at home to strengthen the knee again. Also taking Aleve for the inflammation.  
Please ignore my diagnosis of Runner's Knee. My knee pain is more of a knee cap tracking issue. Foam rolling your inner thigh (VMO) helps immensely along with doing leg strength exercises. I use a foam roller on the whole leg but target the inner thigh. Trying to fix posture as well. Hope this helps someone!
Avatar universal
It isn't a local pain. That's just the symptom. If it is the right knee you are feeling the pain in, then your spleen is too acidic and 95% chance that your liver isn't functioning properly  (remember, the liver can be 75% damaged and we wouldn't feel it or know it and it can still fully recover) if it's the left knee - pancreas is having problems. In either case your entire lower back, hip, thighs, hamstrings and glute muscles are tight, distressed, tender and need relief.
Also in both cases lymph system isn't moving well enough or fast enough. If lymph and glands functioned properly that pain would have been gone within 48hrs never to return again.
Many, easy, cheap, fast ways to fix all this.

Good luck guys!
Helpful - 1
3 Comments
What would you recommend as a solution here please?
Same question from me.....
What the what??? Am I the only one who thinks that is insane? I mean, I couldn't tell if that post was a joke or what. It's just so asinine. Sorry, no offense. Just giving my opinion.
1711789 tn?1361308007
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
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!
Helpful - 0
1 Comments
This started with me yesterday...53 year old male excellent health..wondering if it could be related to shingles?
Avatar universal
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?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
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!  
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Avatar universal
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.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
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.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
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!
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1 Comments
It's really comforting to read these statements as it feels like you all know me, and my pain! I relate to the random attacks. Knowing I am not alone I am determined to not let this destroy my otherwise happy and normal life. Thank you all.
11909625 tn?1422030175
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.
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1 Comments
Right side of left kneecap...otherwise the same and you stated it very well. I too think it is nerve related. I've been to two doctors. I've had xrays and an MRI. No clue is the diagnosis.
Avatar universal
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.
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Avatar universal
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
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Avatar universal
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 : )
Helpful - 0
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