I am a runner and a soccer player with no history of knee issues. I am 5'11" 175 lbs. 32 years old. I have been active all my life.
4 1/2 years ago I suffered an injury while coaching soccer. My toes on the right foot got caught in a net during a swing of my leg causing them to point directly outward. Something in my knee gave. I was unable to walk for days, unable to do fully support my weight on that leg for months. Over the next several months I gradually got better, but began to experience a dull stiffness and pressure in my knee cap. Temporary relief would come from rubbing the knee cap gently, primarily on the inside of the knee. I began running again in the summer (8 months post injury) and immediately noticed that I had some new pains associated with running. The head of the fibula bone at the knee would feel sharp pains, on and off, unexplainably. A similar pain would shoot up the underside of my leg, near the outside of the leg by the IT band, but not the IT band. These pains exist only as a shooting pain as a direct result of either running or tightening all the muscles around the knee simultaneously. These pains cannot be reproduced from pressure.
After seeing multiple doctors, sports med docs, and an orthopedic doc, no one was able to resolve the problem. My MRI came back clean (according to the sports med doc and the ortho doc) and they basically told me I had nothing wrong with me and I should go home and just wait it out. I took another 6 months off at that point from all activity, hoping it would heal. Things only got worse, same issues, just worse pain. The less active I became the more painful things got.
Fast forward three years. After two consecutive years of insurance deductibles in the $6+ range I was unable to seek treatment. This year I have a new plan that makes it financially affordable. My doc sent me to physical therapy for 8 weeks which made things worse. Today as I type this it takes all I have to ignore the pain in my leg. For reference, I am not a stranger to pain. I've completed 5 marathons, and two ultra marathons in the dead of winter in the mountains. Pain is not something I shy away from, but this knee pain is too much too bear.
- knee cap feels under pressure or aggravated, always. (like right after you lightly bump it on a table by accident)
- extreme tightness. I cannot sit on my right heel. Once my heel is within about 8 to 10 inches of my butt my knee gets too tight to go further and it is extremely painful.
- shooting pain up the outside of the hammy near the IT band, and down the outside of the calf, near the head of the fibula. This is on and off either during exercise or a result of. When it hurts it's for a couple seconds, then goes away. Cannot be reproduced with pressure.
- back of my knee feels "mushy" like stuff in there is all jumbled up. My good knee you can feel muscle and tendons or whatever all that stuff is. On the right knee, it just feels like a mess of peanut butter.
- also in the back of my knee is a cyst. It's been drained once before, during that time I took off three years ago. Having it drained had no effect on any of this. The cyst was about the size of a small marble. I can feel it with my finger tips and it's about that same size again.
- when I bend my leg at the knee my right foot points out slightly. Not far, maybe 10-15 degrees. As the leg bends it points outward, and as I straighten it back out it returns to straight. So when I run my feet land and push off straight, but when my leg is at it's most bent position int eh stride my toes on the right foot are pointed out slightly.
I've been experiencing this pain and discomfort for too long. I lay awake at night rubbing my knee because I can't sleep. Doctors keep kicking the can down the road, "try therapy", "wear a brace for six months" anything to get me out of the office. Any and all advice you may have is appreciated. I'm getting desperate. I wish someone would just open it up and take a look.