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How do I find the cause of my knee pain and stop it?

I am 26 and have had knee pain for 2 years. I have been living in Asia and have had a difficult time finding a doctor that a) speaks English and b) is helpful in diagnosing the problem.

Most doctors have said they are not sure what the problem is and that I should just rest and take pain medication. After 2 years of doing this I am becoming really frustrated.
I recently had an MRI scan on one knee (assuming both knees would be similar) and the radiologist said I have a tear in the ACL as well as the PCL but said they are not bad enough to need surgery. However, he wouldn't tell me more and insisted I see another doctor to tell me more. The other doctor said he saw nothing in the MRI and once again said I should just take pain medication and rest.

My knees have really affected me in my work and personal life and it has been extremely difficult dealing with both physically and mentally. I would greatly appreciate any leads on what it could be.

Here are some quick facts and below that is the longer history of them.

QUICK FACTS:

WHICH KNEE?
Both (Pain usually alternates between the two)

PAIN LOCATION?
Alternates between all four corners of the knee cap.

VISIBLE SYMPTOMS?
None. No distinct swelling or redness.

PAIN UPSTAIRS OR DOWNSTAIRS?
Both.

WHEN IS PAIN WORST?
After physical activity. Walking short distances, standing for long periods, running, swimming, cycling, yoga poses such as warrior 2, squatting, balancing on one leg.  (no knee pain during a month where I was bed ridden due to unrelated illness).

WEIGHT:
healthy

PAIN IN OTHER AREAS OF BODY:
Hips and glute med ( I have been working on hip flexibility, glute max strength and rolling hips, glutes, quads and IT band in hopes of helping my knees. As well pain in left shoulder (my guess is this is unrelated)


PAIN HISTORY:

After not being very active growing up, I suddenly became very active 3 years ago when I moved to Asia. I walked to work every day and often did 5-20km a day walking around the city. (During winter I did this in heeled boots)  On the weekends I would hike mountains too. I also started swimming for the first time (every night) and started running (from never really running at all to 5km most mornings). I also joined a gym as well as doing body weight exercises at home such as squats, planks and sit ups. I also started teaching which meant I was standing most of the day.

After running my hip sometimes felt a bit strange but I thought nothing of it. After a run one morning my one knee felt a bit strange too so I decided to give running a rest. This was 2 years ago and I have not been able to run since. It was impossible to stop all other activity as walking was the way of life in this city and the nature of my job. My knee got worse without running. About a month or 2 later I went on a trip to Borneo and stupidly climbed the tallest mountain in SE Asia (a 2 day hike) mostly using the weight of my one leg. After this my other knee became as painful as the other and now they are very similar in pain.
I now don't do much exercise except some yoga and even that gets too much for my knees. I live a two minute walk from the beach and drive there. I still teach and have to climb a lot of stairs at work and am also a photographer. But for the most part I do a lot less activity and have been trying to work on my leg posture, glute strength, hip flexibility and foam rolling.

Perhaps I'm being impatient but any advice on what could be wrong with my knees would be amazing.

1 Responses
446049 tn?1612304194
The tissue in your meniscus can and should be repaired. I've heard some surgeons don't
like to rush to perform the repair, but I had a torn meniscus repaired over 20 years ago and
it has been fine and pain free ever since then.
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