My knee problem

Hi, I’m Adam and my left knee has a problem.

Here’s a brief history to the earliest occurence of anything that could have caused this:

December - sprain left ankle and as I train through it I start noticing fluid on top of my kneecap.

January - it goes away mostly, but in a championship indoor lacrosse game (we won), I dive to go for a check, and sort of, well, miss, and land my knee on the turf. It has turf burn at this point. The kneecap didn’t do anything strange, so I wasn’t worried about it at all.

Later in that day I decided I was too pooped to train, so I just sat and began enjoying NFL playoffs. Within an hour my knee was very stiff and sore in flexion.
For about, I’d say, the rest of the month, it was pretty stiff until it got warm. Stiff enough to make a difference when running beyond 60%.

Until last night
The knee slowly but surely got better every day. However, I could always feel something at full flexion or if pressure was put on it from the left side of the lower leg, as in sitting in class with my left leg up on the other, foot above knee. The worst I could make it feel was by flexing it fully and then putting weight on it, i.e. stretching my quad on the floor

Last night
Playing hockey, I get tripped and take a mild spill. It immediately goes sore, and was very stiff for about 30 seconds, then it loosened up. It remained sore but it was 100%.

My school’s trainer has told me I have fluid buildup. My questions are:

  1. Is this possibly a torn meniscus? The stiffness worries me, but it doesn’t seem THAT severe.

  2. If it is just fluid buildup, what should I do to get rid of it?

I’m willing to do what it takes, I can’t have my knee get stiff every time it takes a little bump.

Thank you all for any contributions.

Yes. If you are experiencing pain with this and it has been occuring more frequently, I would make the trip to a physician. Security is sometimes worth the money spent. Keep us posted.

I would take the time to have it looked at by a specialist if the problem persists. I like to take the conservative approach and rule out everything. It doesnt sound like meniscus problems, though it could be a floater.
Are you in a college or high school setting? This would allow for better suggestions on rehab.

What is a floater?

I am in college.

Thank you

A chunk of bone that has become detached and just ‘floats’ around.

And it’s back!

february 19. 2003, 4th quarter, knee lightly hits the turf, and boom it’s stiff again!

Had to gimp off the field, full ROM back within twenty or so minutes.

would an MRI tell me if I had a floater? a meniscus tear? a fluid buildup that just won’t go away?

what about an x ray?

Yesterday I saw an ortho. He says Sino(u?)vitis, and chose to rule out the meniscus tear for now.

The treatment prescribed is more icing and elevation, and the presecription version of aleve. I disagree with the second half of this - any comments?

Note that this was all without an MRI.

Aleve is a non-steroidal anti inflamatory (NSAID). I used to hate taking any medication like this because it reduces the pain and then since it feels better, you go out and run, thereby making it worse.

However, I asked a doctor about this and he said that there are times, where the problem itself is actually the inflammation and therefore, taking a NSAID is not really masking the problem but actually “curing” it. I’m not a doctor (I don’t even play one on TV) and I obviously haven’t even examines your knee, so I don’t know if this applies to you but it might be worth asking about.


3/14/2003, I finally got an MRI.

I now await a radiologist’s analysis.

I do have the MRI with me. I wish I knew how to read thse things…

got the results back from the radiologist:

The following are the results of the MRI

  1. Tiny joint effusion
  2. Tiny Baker Cyst
  3. Tear Posterior medial meniscus
  4. Bone Bruise medial femoral condyle

any ideas on the next course of action?

Things have clerared up a lot since the last post.

I stopped playing hockey and hit my knee much less now, and it works fine now!

However the tear is still there
in extreme ranges of flexion, i.e. bottom of a full squat it’s like CLIPSE as in it’s GRINDING :sing:

now that I’m done laughing at my own joke, the tear is in a place that CAN heal, so the question is what kind of things can I do to help it heal?

Thanks all for your time

I looked up menisus in a medical dictionary here at work and it says it is made of fibrocartilage. This makes me think that it may be useful to use glucosamine. Also DMSO is a possibility (especially if the tear is near the surface). I am currently experimenting with DMSO, and I think it has cleared up one tendon injury in less than a week (enough for it not to hurt doing what hurt it before). I’m trying it on another and I’ll let you know how it goes.

Are you sure meniscus tears can heal completely (on their own without surgery)?

only in certain areas around the edge, away from the center, is what I’m told.
but I’m no therapist
My tear is on the edge like this.

Tentative surgery date is at the end of summer.

what is DMSO?

…run a quick search on this site, there were some good posts about it’s uses and also about using MSM recently too …

DMSO is a controversial topical solution for the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. It is controversial because it is a solvent. There are threads in the archives about DMSO you may want to do a search. Research has been conducted for other uses of it as well (e.g cystitis)

at they describe studies where DMSO helped with pain (and healing the researchers suggested) in osteoarthritis and ‘tendinitis’.

Research it thoroughly before contemplating using it, don’t just use it because me/some1 says it might be useful, and if you are in the USA you might be able to talk to a doctor about it (DMSO is not available here in the UK such is the extent of the nanny state)