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Unexplained knee pain

Question: Unexplained knee pain

Apology in advance if the answer has already been given somewhere although I haven't found it yet. After five months of rest I have finally gained some real progress with my patella tendinitis but to my disbelief over the past three weeks I have developed the most peculiar symptom with the same knee. The pain is located on the lateral side of the patella tendon in the spongy area next to what I believe is the top of the tibia in which there is tenderness also. The pain can be brought on most always from kneeling and what I've found really strange, is that I can bring on the pain by pushing with fingers on the spongy area, medial of the patella tendon (the exact opposite side). When I do this I can literally feel the ligament/tendon of interest move under the skin and is accompanied by pain that I liken to a small electric shock. Note that there is virtually no pain when squatting or stepping. It is activated a little on the lunge only when the affected knee is lowered to the ground. I have never had injuries to any knee and given that it has had five months of rest I'm at a loss as to why it has developed. My summary is that it is not load that initiates the pain rather pressure applied from tension or actual physical pressure. Am I right in thinking it is merely muscle imbalance/tracking disorder? Perhaps due to too much inactivity causing muscle atrophy and misfiring patterns and instability? I'd be extremely appreciative of any advice. Thanks, Russell.

Answer:

Hi,

Seeing as it is a long time since your original question hopefully things have settled. The area you complain of contains numerous bursa (fluid fill sacs that prevent friction of tendon on bone) or the fat pad beneath the patella tendon. Either can be irritated by direct trauma such as a blow directly on the area (or if you happen to knee a lot then this can also irritate both structures) or can become inflamed by problems with the patella tendon itself.
Have you noticed in swelling in the area?
Best to initially try icing the area 2-3 x daily for a week or so (need to be quite diligent on this to get the best effect) to see if this has any impact on the pain. If you do indeed happen to kneel a lot then try not to do this so much. Also ensure your quads are nice and flexible. These simple things might be a good place to start.

Answer:

Well how can you do such things Van. I would prefer not to do so. If you are really in terrible pain you can where jumper's knee so that you can keep your knee in compressed pressure. This actually helps in getting relief. Actually i read a book on book on patellar tendonitis and according to that it can easily be cured by R.I.C.E method !!

Answer:

Thank you for your reply. There is no swelling in the area and ice does work as well as stretching my quads. I actually do not squat as much as I should throughout the day when lifting (i am a bricklayer) so stretching the quads offers real relief. The problem is still there although it's slowly disappearing now. I read another reader in SIB had a patella problem for nine months! My knee issue first started in mid February. I will keep up the ice and stretches. Thank you once again. Russell.