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Knee Problem

Sorry for the detail, but maybe it will help you understand in answering the question as to what area of the knee may be injured, or if not injured, then what is going on? :

I was in an accident which caused my knee to grind, and become painful as I went up and downsteps, in which I could have tolerated if knew how much worse I would feel after physical therapy.  So now after a couple of sessions of physical therapy, namely the "ultrasonic therapy," my knee feels as though I will get lighting bolts of pain that come and go, and almost feel "bone breaking," and include popping, clicking, and I am almost positive that my knee cap feels as though it continuously relocates unnaturally.    Furthermore, the cartiladge that I hear before sounds much worse and more frequent.  Now, over this past weekend, I leaned up on my car only feel as though fluid might be in there (keep in mind it has swelled up frequently after therapy).   A couple days ago I started to feel a little better on a scale of 1-10, a five if I don't do anything I am in good shape.  Today great, so I walk "lightly" in the perimeter of the building to the tune of at least a mile and a half.  Now it is at this moment, again a feeling of the knee cap sliding, and inflamed, and what feels like a blister inside my knee, should I do anything above and beyond what my knee wants to do.  What might be causing this problem?  

I await the diagnosis of an MRI, but I would like to get other suggestions as well.    
4 Responses
Avatar universal
Your symptom of grinding is characteristic of osteoarthritis. If you are having tendon weakness, then it could be patellar sub-luxation or patellar dislocation.
When did your pain begin, what were you doing at the time, and what were the initial symptoms?
Do you experience any grinding, locking, catching, or giving way of the knee?
Are there any positions that make your knee more or less comfortable?
What is the quality of your pain (sharp, shooting, dull, etc.)?
Have you tried anything to help the pain and, if yes, has that been successful?
Have you ever had surgery on your knee? Do you have any hip or ankle pain?
Keep us posted with your answers.
Avatar universal
My pain began a month after my car accident-December (minimally), much worse after a couple of sessions at physical therapy (on and off). Yes to grinding, i think locking and catching, but not give way.  No surgeries to hip or knees.  I take ultrim or tramadol at the onset of pain, and it makes the pain go away, but not the symptoms that come with it. Plus the medication is not 100% effective.
Avatar universal
Hi Nikki,
Your symptom of locking and catching are characteristic of meniscus injuries and osteochondritis dissecans (meniscus injuries are much more common than osteochondritis dissecans).
So now I feel you might have either osteoarthritis or meniscus injuries.
I think you should be consulting an orthopaedician and get X-rays, including AP weight-bearing, AP in 45° extension, lateral, and sunrise views, should be obtained. MRI should also be obtained to better evaluate the extent of injury. Arthroscopy is the gold standard diagnostic tool for meniscal tears but may not be necessary.
Small tears may be treated conservatively with rest, ice, bracing, and physical therapy. Larger tears and tears in patients who are competitive athletes and wish to return to competitive sport may require surgery.
The treatment for osteoarthritis is different.
Keep me posted if you have any queries.
Avatar universal
Yes, this is similar.  So I have to be careful, because it appears that surgery is not an option, which I don't mind, but I do mind that I cannot do the same things I did before to that extreme, such as walking, and forget about running, (especially when I am trying to lose weight).  It is those activities that I am distraught that there is nothnig other they can do.  My ortho said there is a cartilage tear from previewing the MRI, and is awaiting an approval for a custom knee brace.  

However, I know I didn't give the cortizone shot enough time yet, but the inflammation is absent from the shot, but I can still feel the pain come and go, and I know it takes 3-5 days for the shot to fully work, but he stated that my activity is limited to what my knee can handle.  Wouldn't this define a permanent injury?
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