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Avatar universal

new severe knee pain -why?

Hi. I hope you can help.  I am 58, female, in excellent health, weigh under 155 lbs, and 1 month ago - lying in bed not even moving I had a "pain "in my left knee (sort of under the knee cap?) that was so severe... I actually cried-out, my body actually shook with pain, tears came to my eyes, it lasted 5 seconds and was gone as quick as it came.  (Scared me to death).  I did not have it again for a month.  

This morning I was bending over to put the cat's food bowl on the floor, and with that slight bend in my left knee - identical severe pain - same place, that this time dropped me to the floor!  Tonight I bent over to put clothes into the front loading dryer and my husband came rushing in because my scream shook the house...(same pain).  I can now "make" it happen by bending from the waist a certain way, just as my hands get close to the floor...boom... severe, piercing, excruciating pain.  

If anyone has a clue what this might be...please share!  I do plan to go to the doctor now that I can re-create it... but it 'feels' like it could be nerve pain.  It is debilitating and very frightening.  Any thoughts would be appreciated.  Thanks
4 Responses
Avatar universal

It does seem related to an impinged nerve which could be present along its path from the spine to the knee region. However, other conditions that can lead to the same type of pain cannot be ruled out at present.

Is there any knee swelling or warmth? Any previous trauma to the knee. Does the pain only occur in the knee region?

Some conditions that could also present with pain at the knee region include osteoarthritis, bursitis, infections, joint injury, etc.

It would indeed be advisable to consult a physician as soon as possible to evaluate your symptoms and manage your condition.

Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
Thank you.  Let me answer your questions...  

No swelling (that I can see), no warmth. No previous injuries although I do have a 27% patella angle that has been there for 20 years which only gets inflamed if I go up too many steps (we live in a ranch and I know not to do steps).  
My Dad had bursitis in his shoulder (thats not hereditary is it?) and also at about the same time as my first knee pain I started feeling slight and manageable burning in my right shoulder...assuming bursitis. I feel that each evening when I lie down to sleep..   But if the shoulder is bursitis..the pain is very tollerable.  This knee pain is worse than any I have experienced in 58 years.  I have a pretty good tolerance - but this ... knocks me on my butt.

I fear though its getting worse... - as it is only 8:30 AM here and this morning I have felt it 4 times. ((1) bending to pick up pillows off the floor, (3) three attempts to put on a sock (by sitting in a chair and crossing the left foot over the right knee) .  I finally had to stay in the chair and keep both feet on the floor and bend in the chair to get the socks on. (Sitting and bending to the floor is ok....  Standing and bending is what usually does it.)

I plan to call a doctor today - Thanks - But if this is nerve related, any thoughts on what will help.  When my husband gets a pinched nerve..  he usually suffers till it works itself out.  Does cortizone help in this situation??  I have never had it - but have friends who swear by the effects.

Thank you for your response.. I appreciate it very much.
Avatar universal

As far as I know, bursitis isn't hereditary.

If the condition is, indeed, nerve-related, treatment would depend on the severity of nerve involvement as well as the symptoms present.

Initial treatment for uncomplicated nerve impingement is conservative therapy consisting of oral pain medications, physical therapy, heat therapy, etc. If conservative therapy fails, it is then that surgery is indicated.

Cortisone would only be of help if there is inflammation present which might be causing the pain.

Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
Thank you.  I see my doctor on Monday morning ;-)  He will refer me to an orthopedic if necessary.  I sincerely appreciate this forum.  
You eased my angst ....   now I just have to work on this pain.
Have a Happy New Year. Best wishes and thank you again.
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