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Left knee pain with no known trauma

I am a 20 year old female college student who is fairly healthy and exercises regularly (3-4 times per week). For 1 month I have been experiencing pain in my left knee. The pain occurs mostly above the knee cap and slightly along both sides. I have never had any knee injuries nor do I remember injuring it prior to when the pain began. I made a doctor's appt for February 22nd but it seems to be getting worse and i'm not sure if I will be able to handle the pain. I have minimal swelling above the knee cap but no redness, warmth or presence of a fever. The pain is worse when I am sitting, climbing or coming down stairs, and extending the knee from 90 to 180 degrees. I have major weakness in the joint when standing (almost feels like it's going to "give out" if that makes sense). In the past 3 weeks it has started "popping" when I attempt to extend it. It cracks and makes funny grinding noises. When it's popping and grinding it hurts the worst. The right knee is perfectly normal. I have no medical history other than a thyroid adenoma discovered December 2008 (hypoechoic-4x4 mm). What are some things that could cause this to happen in my knee when I havn't had any history of trauma/injury? I didn't think it could be degenerative in nature due to my age so I'm a bit concerned.
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Thanks very much!
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Avatar universal

If the pain is above the knee cap the most common reason might be due to injury to quadriceps muscle or tendon involvement.

As you did not have any injury but as you exercise regularly I still would like to suggest you to rule out ligament or tendon injuries by an MRI of the knee.

Systemic diseases can give rise to knee problems without injuries like Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatic fever, septic arthritis etc.

I would suggest you to go for an examination and diagnosis and till then not to exert yourself, use NSAIDs for pain relief and also use ice packs to decrease inflammation.

Take care!
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