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Knee problems - keeps locking..

fudgeyfudgey Posts: 859
Evening all, for about 10 years or so now i have been suffering on a yearly basis at least one instance of my left knee locking up. The very first time it happend when standing up from a squatting position, then from getting up off the floor etc.
The a couple of years ago i knelt down and it went, and then june last year was the worst at a 24h mtb event - i was getting up out of a tent and it went, and was locked in a bent position for over two and a half hours with paramedics trying to release it. They ended up doing this by one large chap holding my leg in one, and hitting the outside of my knee inwards very hard.

It took over two weeks before i could walk properly after that one.

I have had 2 knee MRI scans that both came back as surgically ok, just fluid in the joint after the second, but a later hip MRI shown that i have a femoro acetabular impingement, a growth of bone on the ball joint of my hip meaning i have a very limited range of movement on my left leg
I believe that my knee is twisting due to the lack of hip movement but i am not due to see the consultant until the 11th of may. Unless i can make an earlier appointment?

Anyway i have been very careful with my knee and it hasnt done it since until today, cycled 45 miles and we stopped to get a drink etc. my quads were feeling it so i stretched them, the right was fine but as i let go of my left foot my knee locked up again.

Every time i can bend it so my foot touches my bum, but can never straighten it past 90 degrees. It wasnt as painful today as it has been but there i was, sat on the floor outside sainsburys in cheltenham for about half an hour.
I got uncomfortable with my hip aching so kind of laid my left leg on the ground and sat lent over to the left, and massaged my knee.

Then, all of a sudden the pain went, i could straighten it, stand up etc and it was a bit painful, but managed to cycle the 20 miles back.

Has anyone had a similar thing, and what was the outcome?
Im at a loss now as to what is happening and getting quite fed up/ frustrated with it.

Sorry for the long winded post...
My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...

Posts

  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,639
    Sorry to hear about your injury.

    I have been struggling with a knee problem for a few months. Currently waiting for surgery on a medial ligament tear and also on the cartilage.

    My main symptom was instability in the left knee but the knee also began to lock/catch regularly. Now every time i try to stretch the thigh or sit on my heels i can, but as soon as i straighten the leg its agony and i cannot.

    The MRI scan showed cartilage damage and debris in the knee joint - the consultant said cartilage damage is common with the MCL injury i sustained and it is the debris in the knee which is causing the lock ups.
    Whilst i wait for surgery he advised me to shake my leg whenever it happens - idea being it may clear the 'grit'.
    Seems to work, although not 100% of the time.

    I would go back to the Dr and get another MRI scan. The knee locking is indication of either cartilage damage or grit in the knee joint, so get it checked out again.

    Hope you get it sorted asap.
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 859
    Thanks for the reply. The last mri was august and they shown me the scan pictures, the cartilage was all nice and smooth looking, no abnormalities etc. no tears, no ligament damage. At first they thought id torn the acl etc but the scans and xrays showed otherwise.

    The consultant originally thought that as my knee bent, the lower part of my leg twisted and the femur was getting stuck behind the meniscus. Again the scans and xrays showed no damage to the meniscus.

    So im at a loss really as to what can be casing it other than my hip. It all coinsides with the hip pain i have been having as i first noticed that in around 2005 but its got worse as time goes on.

    I will try and see if i can get a phone appointment etc with the consultant to discuss things.

    Cheers.
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • If you're near Cheltenham, I would recommend Harminder Gosal as an excellent knee specialist.
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 859
    Hi, yes i have been to cheltenham for the last knee and hip mri's, but i cent remember the name of the consultant that gave me the results of both at cirencester.
    The original consultant i saw was Gavin Holt in tetbury, he seemed pretty good.
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • Gavin is also very very good and very sensible, so much so I let him operate on my mother.
    DOI I'm in the bone setting trade, but as far away from hips and knees as you can get.
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 859
    Ah thats quite interesting!

    I dont suppose if you know if it would be possible to have a telephone appointment for example, do consultants do such a thing?
    Or how likely i could bring my appointment in may forwards? I will try calling tomorrow, i know Mr Holt is a very busy man and that there are thousands of people on waiting lists etc and probably with worse conditions than mine, but its worth a shot i guess.
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • They don't do telemedicine, but if you're still on his books with an "open appointment " then you can request to be seen again, if not get your GP to refer you back with a letter.
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 859
    Ok thanks, ill try that.
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,639
    Have you seen a physio? I would suggest trying physio whilst you wait for your next consultant appointment.
    They should be able to help you strengthen the leg and perhaps ease the pain/reduce the frequency of the knee locking.
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 859
    Hi yes, after i got the results of my hip MRI back in October i made an appointment with a sports injury specialist, then ironically the NHS physio appointment came through for a couple of days after, i still paid for the first one and went to the NHS appointment.

    they gave me some exercises that i did for 2 weeks, but of them was a reverse lunge, i broke my right ankle 4 years ago and this really aggravated it as i have lost a lot of joint movement. i persevered for as long as i could until i could barely walk so had to lay off them for a while and its only just back to being pain free, but still limited movement.
    the knee issues are with my left knee/hip

    I carried doing the other exercises except for the reverse lunge, and since November i have started taking a cod liver oil supplement every day to see if that helps.
    since doing the physio exercises i am more aware of hip pain, so is it helping? i am not sure. one benefit is the tightness/pain i was having in my legs has gone, but the hip joint itself is still painful.

    one exercise to build the muscles around my knee was heel dips, standing on one foot on the stairs and dropping the heel of the other foot to the stair below.
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 859
    Just had a call from Cirencester hospital, they have moved my appointment from the 11th of May to the 17th of Feb, so thats a result at least.
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,639
    fudgey wrote:
    Just had a call from Cirencester hospital, they have moved my appointment from the 11th of May to the 17th of Feb, so thats a result at least.

    That's good news. Hope they can get to the bottom of the injury & cure it!
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 859
    Thanks, me too!

    although i am 99% sure the cause is my hip as i started to get hip pain before any knee problems, and after saturday when my hip started to ache while me knee was locked up and simply moving to a different position freed it up by relaxing, hopefully this will back up my case.

    the unfortunate thing is going to be trying to push for an operation, usually i would do everything to avoid having one but it seems that this is the only option. but trying to get one on the NHS is going to be difficult i expect.

    when i broke my ankle i was off work for 7 weeks while i had a cast on and was on crutches, it drove me nuts just not being able to do anything. but as soon as the cast was off i talked them in to letting me back to do office duties while i had a boot thing on for a month. in hindsight i should have stayed off and recovered properly as i am paying for not doing the physio enough now with my ankle.

    fingers crossed for the 17th!!

    cheers
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • kingstoniankingstonian Posts: 2,207
    Sounds very much like a torn meniscus, which an MRI would be needed to confirm.

    If that is the diagnosis, have the op. Some do try to delay it but inevitably the knee gets worse, so IMO you should have it done early.

    Good luck.
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 859
    I have had 2 MRI's on my knee which both came back showing no tears in anything. Ligaments, tendons and meniscus all ok.
    They suspected a torn meniscus but nothing was found.

    Got just over a week to wait, so i will see what they say.

    Went out earlier and done 45 miles, it was aching a bit and still looks slightly puffy.

    Got a 60 mile sportive next sunday but should be ok. (I hope)
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,639
    I know how frustrating it is being injured, but i would suggest perhaps staying off the bike until you have a clear diagnosis and know that you are not doing any further damage.

    As you say, you only have a week until your follow up app which hopefully will give you a clearer picture of the injury and a course of action for recovery.
  • TonyJamsTonyJams Posts: 214
    Sounds very much like a torn meniscus, which an MRI would be needed to confirm.

    If that is the diagnosis, have the op. Some do try to delay it but inevitably the knee gets worse, so IMO you should have it done early.

    Good luck.

    I immediately thought the same thing, the torn part of the meniscus splays out slightly when you are down in a squat and catches when you go to stand up again. Im not sure what the NHS do but if you are able to opt for a private procedure in the meantime the consultant may well opt for immediate arthroscopy rather than an MRI first. They are going to want to take a look inside either way so may as well fix it at the same time. it's not a big procedure.
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 859
    redvision wrote:
    I know how frustrating it is being injured, but i would suggest perhaps staying off the bike until you have a clear diagnosis and know that you are not doing any further damage.

    As you say, you only have a week until your follow up app which hopefully will give you a clearer picture of the injury and a course of action for recovery.

    I was diagnosed in nov with a hip FAI and that my knee was surgically ok, this was the second knee mri i had to come back clear.

    Last august i asked the specialist what exercises to do and he said cycling was good as no impact unlike running etc.
    And when i went in novemeber and seen a different consultant i asked again, he also said cycling and swimming, until i pointed out i cant do breaststroke legs.

    I didnt do much cycling after june last year, and im just getting back into it now. I have put on 3/4 of a stone since then too and cycling is about the only exercise i can do. I cant run, not great at swimming and i cant walk more than 2 miles before my ankle hurts. Im 35 going on 95 ha...
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 859
    TonyJams wrote:
    Sounds very much like a torn meniscus, which an MRI would be needed to confirm.

    If that is the diagnosis, have the op. Some do try to delay it but inevitably the knee gets worse, so IMO you should have it done early.

    Good luck.

    I immediately thought the same thing, the torn part of the meniscus splays out slightly when you are down in a squat and catches when you go to stand up again. Im not sure what the NHS do but if you are able to opt for a private procedure in the meantime the consultant may well opt for immediate arthroscopy rather than an MRI first. They are going to want to take a look inside either way so may as well fix it at the same time. it's not a big procedure.

    I dont know what is causing the locking but i am certain it is a result of my hip issues.
    What are the symptoms of a torn meniscus? as other than the initial pain of it locking i just have a dull ache under the front on the kneecap now. No pain etc when walking or cycling.
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • TonyJamsTonyJams Posts: 214
    For me it was just the locking, when the meniscus fragment went back in place everything felt ok, except my knee felt unstable in a leg press gym machine in the gym or doing squats.

    In your position I'd go to a physio in the meantime while you wait, more to address any hip issues and alignments.

    BTW I don't suppose you are anywhere near York or London are you for appointments? I can recommend an incredible guy if you are.
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 859
    Im not too far away from london, im near swindon wilts but going to gloucestershire nhs.

    If i were to squat right now, i get odd feeling to the rear of my knee on the ouside, where the fibia joins.
    I think its the ITB, if i stick my finger into the underside of that as forwards as poss where it joins, thats the area that feels odd. But only when squatting.
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 859
    Repeating myself here from my other post, but thought id update this one too.
    I went back to the hospital today and basically the consultant went through the mobility exercises again and gave me his thoughts as to what was causing my knee to lock, said that it could be the ITB going into spasm and doing it, but he couldn't be sure.

    Anyway, he spoke to the consultant that i seen the first time last august and said that he doesn't believe in the operation to shave the bone on my hip etc as it only has a 50% success rate, but i cant see any other option as the physio i was doing has made it worse. Partly because one of the exercises means i have to bend my ankles a lot, but where i broke my right one 4 years ago it doesn't move much any more, and around Xmas time i could barely walk so stopped doing that particular exercise. I don't think the others are helping either, i just have a constant ache in my hip, and under my knee cap.
    He said my hip is quite bad and that at some point i will need a hip replacement but they wont do that for a good number of years due to my age (35) as i will need more than one. The other thing he suggested was an injection into the joint but that will just mask any pain and not actually rectify any issues. The other option was basically to take pain killers, which again i don't want to be constantly taking.
    So, what they have done is put me forward for a clinical trial in oxford, where i will either receive more physio or have an operation. So i am now waiting for the dates etc for that come through.

    Fingers crossed something will be done, i really dont think physio is going to do much more.
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,639
    I guess that's a positive. Although perhaps shows the limitations of the NHS at the moment - given that they have been unable to cure the injury themselves.

    Did they give any advice regarding cycling in the meantime?

    Hope the new treatment (when it starts) quickly gets you on the mend.
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 859
    Cheers. No, he didnt say anything about cycling actually. but last time said that swimming and cycling were good and running was bad. I cant run to save my life anyway so thats no great loss haha.

    I will update when i know whats going etc.

    :D
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 859
    Got the appointment through today for the 4th of May at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford. The Mr Glyn-Jones Hip Clinic.
    A quick google shows that he should be pretty good!
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,639
    good news. hope it goes well and they can sort it.
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 859
    Thanks, yes hopefully something positive will come of it.
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 859
    A small update to the thread.

    My knee has locked 3 times so far this year, 11th feb i ended up going to A&E in agony with it locked, now when it used to happen i thought the tib and fib were somehow dislocating but it all felt normal, except the fact i couldnt straighten my leg past 90 degrees and was in agony.
    I was seen by the triage nurse, and it then transpired that there was a 3 hour wait to be seen! It was a small hospital that closed at 11pm, this was now 7pm we were told. With that the waiting room emptied and there were just myself and the wife left... Debating to go to swindon hospital i was in mega pain, pins and needles up my whole leg and the pain from my knee...

    Anyway, i sat on the floor, bent my foot up to my crotch with my leg out sideways flat on the floor, i dug my fingers in where the source of the pain was and massaged the back of my knee.. And like the click of a finger the pain instantly went, i stood up and said to the mrs lets go!

    She couldnt believe it!

    Then two weekends after i sat on the floor cross legged and it locked up again! Its never done it just by sitting n the floor like that before, so i bent my leg and massaged the knee and the pain went, tried to stand up and it done it again.. So massaged with my leg bent up and it freed off again. It hasnt done it since but the whole joint is very painful.

    I went back to the doctors on monday as its not getting any better and this time he is referring me for an arthroscopy, i need to phone up and book the appointment at the end if the week, and have asked to see a recommended knee specialist in swindon. So fingers crossed ill get to see the guy i want to, ive had enough now!
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 859
    Oh and re my hip, i was entered on a clinical trial for FAI's and have done 10 courses of physio over the last year - that didnt help and now have an appointment mid june to see the consultant to discuss the next step. Ie surgery.
    But since they started looking at my hip, everything stopped for the knee...
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
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