Knee pain and "giving out" on me

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by BetterAtDoubles, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. BetterAtDoubles

    BetterAtDoubles New User

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    Anyone ever have knee pain accompanied by the knee just seeming to fail to support weight, i.e. "giving out" on me? It usually happens to me at random when I go up stairs. Today was the first time that it happened on the court. It went away after a few points and just returned to the regular minor pain that I have.
     
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  2. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    My knee used to give out on me. Like when mowing the grass, going up stairs.

    In my case, it was a torn meniscus. You might want to go see someone and have it checked out, stat.
     
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  3. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    After I tore my meniscus, it would buckle on me every now and then on the court but not in any other situations. It has been 2.5 years now since the injury and I don't think it has happened at all this year.
     
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  4. BetterAtDoubles

    BetterAtDoubles New User

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    I was afraid it might be something like that.

    Cindysphinx & mikeler: Did either of you get treatment for the torn meniscus? If so, what was the treatment and time off? I'm curious what I might be in for.
     
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  5. fantom

    fantom Hall of Fame

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    Treatment for meniscus issues vary greatly. The outer rim of the meniscus gets blood flow while the inner portion does not get as much. The part with poor blood flow does not heal well. Tears in that region often requires surgery. A tear on the outer portion may heal on its own. Also, different parts of the meniscus are more important that others for proper joint movement.

    The bottom line is.......see a doctor.
     
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  6. BillH

    BillH Rookie

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    The "giving out" might be just the result of torn meniscus or something more serious. Whatever it is, everytime it gives, you run the risk of tearing a ligament and that's real trouble.
     
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  7. cadfael_tex

    cadfael_tex Professional

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    Had that happen to me. When they did surgery looking for a torn meniscus it actually turned out to be a plica band that dislocated the knee structure. Apparently neither one shows up on an MRI.

    Be sure to get a good ortho guy, there's a lot of bad ones out there. Went to a well known group in Birmingham, AL that does a lot of pros and they didn't take the time to diagnose anything (multi hour wait for a 2 minute useless consult).
     
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  8. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I've torn it in both knees. You'll know it when you do. I don't think it is a chronic injury, I think it is an acute type injury (not an expert though). The first time was playing basketball 15 years ago. It took me a year to get back to playing basketball after that. The 2nd time was not as bad since I did it playing on a clay court. I was out a month and then could play again running at maybe 75% speed.
     
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  9. BetterAtDoubles

    BetterAtDoubles New User

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    Thanks for all the replies.

    I was also wondering about the chronic nature of my problem. It seems like torn meniscus is usually attributable to one event. I've had this problem for at least a year, and it comes and goes. But I've never actually felt it on the court after being warmed up until yesterday. Some times it hurts more than usual during warm-up but doesn't ever "give out" on the court. That usually happened off court, walking up stairs or getting up from sitting. It seems to be related to putting a lot of my weight on one leg and pushing in a certain way.

    I'm one of those types who don't like to go to the doctor since you never know what you're going to get as far as quality, but I know I need to do it and get more than one opinion, especially if surgery comes up. And I know I've waited too long. I'm in the process of getting recommendations right now.

    I've got arm issues I need to get looked at, too!

    I'm only in my 30s and feel like I'm slowly falling apart...argh... :(
     
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  10. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    In my case, there was no traumatic injury, although in retrospect I think I know when it happened.

    I tried conservative management, and it didn't work well enough to allow me to run and play tennis. I had surgery in 2005, and they found bad plica and the torn meniscus. The knee healed quickly, but I developed bad tracking that took additional PT to correct. I would say it was 18 months before I was 100%, although I played tennis (badly!) for most of that recovery time.

    I will encourage you to consider surgery if you doc thinks it is appropriate for you. Yeah, it stinks. But recent Xrays show there is no arthritis and my knees are very healthy. Some say that failure to correct a bad meniscus can cause additional structural problems and can hasten arthritis. I'm 48, so I am very concerned about these things.
     
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  11. Fuzzy

    Fuzzy Rookie

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    I don't know about the "giving out" part, obviously that's scary...but i've been working with a trainer for awhile just to improve basic tennis specific conditioning and most of my knee pain is actually from hamstring and inner thigh tightness and strength issues

    something else to think about...sometimes your knees hurting has nothing to do with your knees
     
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  12. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Just be cognizant that not every small tear on MRI needs surgery (if indeed that's what it turns out to be.. If that's his initial recommentdation, explain your reluctance to your orthopod, and ask it there is a reasonable chance for your condition to improve with rehab and time. Of course if he tells you the odds are very low, and the recovery after an arthroscopic procedure is short, then you will have to make this decision.
    And have you been doing off court workouts to "stay in shape" and help prevent the all too common tennis injuries?
    Even, and I hope this turns out to be the case, that you do not have any "serious problems", this may turn out to be more motivation to get in better shape. Now is the time to start planning to win the over 90's world tennis competition, won last year by Roger Gentilhomme - 100 years young.
     
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  13. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    It's called a man :)

    CharlieFederer, what kind of doc are you?
     
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  14. BetterAtDoubles

    BetterAtDoubles New User

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    Yeah. Good point. I have thought about that, especially because I don't have big upper legs like many tennis players do, even though I've been playing since I was little and even used to play/train every day in my teens. Overall, I have a small frame, but I have thought for a long time that the muscles around my knees could be inadequately developed to support them.

    I definitely won't go for surgery based on only one ortho's opinion, and I was definitely planning on asking about what my alternatives are. The guy I'm thinking about going to seems to have a good reputation for not "jumping straight to the knife."

    No. Unfortunately I haven't been diligent enough about off court workouts. I'm in decent shape (not overweight or anything), but not in the type of shape I need to be in to play at the level I want to play at, which leads me to stressing my body quite a bit. I'm a quick player who tries to chase down every ball, which is tough on the body. I hope to use this fall/winter as an opportunity to strengthen my core and legs, since I usually only play tennis once or twice a week when I'm playing indoors.


    I've also thought about my limited flexibility and this possibly be a result of that. I never have been very flexible, so that's probably something else I need to work on.
     
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  15. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Do you have any loss of range of motion?

    That was what really sealed the deal for me. I had a 5-8 degree deficit. If you can't straighten the knee, you limp.

    Limping is not sexy.

    Or so I've been told. :)
     
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  16. BillH

    BillH Rookie

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    Not only is it not sexy, but changes in gait usually lead to other problems - ankle, hip, lower back, etc.
     
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  17. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Vascular surgeon. Why do you ask?
     
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  18. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Your posts responding to medical inquiries are too detailed for somebody non-medical. My Dad is a regular doc and my brother is a pediatrician.
     
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  19. BetterAtDoubles

    BetterAtDoubles New User

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    No loss in range of motion. And no noticeable swelling, which seems interesting. Maybe I'm lucky and it's not too bad of an injury yet. I scheduled an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon in about a week and a half, so I guess I'll find out then.

    I played tennis last night - about 2.5 hrs of 4.5 level singles - and it felt fine the whole time. But this morning it's a bit sore.

    I've been wondering if the changing of the seasons has anything to do with injuries flaring up. Anyone else ever think that? Seems too odd/coincidental to be true...
     
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  20. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I just saw an orthopedic surgeon on Monday for my elbow. He is also a 4.5 player and the brother of one of my regular hitting partners. It was nice just to get a professional opinion on my condition.
     
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  21. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    You're lucky. My knee has completely crashed and burned. I would get surgery tomorrow morning if I could. The swelling is unreal, and I can't take any more Advil. I hope it ends better for you.
     
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  22. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

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    What happened????? :confused:
     
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  23. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I did a four-person 2-hour clinic yesterday. Approach volleys, overheads, lobs, volleys, passing shots, nothing special. And now I can hardly walk.

    You know, I remember my knee was fine in mid-August for sectionals, and it was OK for you and I to play earlier this month. And now it just went south for no apparent reason.
     
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  24. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

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    That's the way mine does: fine for a while, then sudden pain caused by anything from a quick turn on the tennis court to bending it to slip into a pair of trousers. Then I'm relatively immobile for about a month before it settles down and the cycle begins anew. The time between flareups keeps getting shorter, although I'm currently about 3 months into a "good" period. (knock on wood)

    But I've been diagnosed with degenerative osteoarthritis in that knee, so it's supposed to get worse. You don't have that, so this flareup concerns me. Hope you can see a doc soon and get it calmed down. We need your keen - and unique - observations on this wonderful sport of ours. :)
     
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  25. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Hey, thanks!

    In a way, the crash and burn makes things easier. Rather than wonder what to do all the time, I know what to do: Line up the surgery and get on with it. I had the MRI this morning. It means I'll miss the whole fall season and Districts in October, but I don't care. Maybe I can get back for the winter season, although I hope this doesn't cost me my spot on my mixed team. :)

    I wish I could understand why so many other people have a torn meniscus and manage to just live with it, and I can't. I know a lady who has had a torn meniscus for a year, and she still plays doubles and says it is no big deal.
     
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  26. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

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    So you're certain it's another torn meniscus - or the same meniscus torn in a different area? Bummer. I also know a couple of people who got by without surgery, and they seem fine today. They used to be friends. :)

    I kid my iron knee buddies, of course.

    Keep us in the loop on what's happening.
     
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  27. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    Glad your getting it checked out. I've torn mine twice and the first time was very similar to yours...no swelling and occasional soreness but nothing that overly concerned me except for the sporadic 'giving out'. I was only 15 or 16 at the time so going to a doctor wasn't something I considered...I ended up going in when the knee gave out and locked at a 90 degree angle. I went straight to surgery that day, didn't have another option with the pain that caused...I was just lucky I didn't do more damage to my knee by ignoring it so long.

    Rehab on it was pretty simple at that age...about 6 weeks off the courts and occasional icing for swelling for a month or two past that...but it got me doing the little exercises consistently to protect my knees and at 31 I have had no knee problems playing 4.5 ball for 2-2.5 hours 3+ times a week. I'm sure every tear and situation is different, I had to have the entire lateral meniscus taken out because of the severity of the tear.
     
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  28. BetterAtDoubles

    BetterAtDoubles New User

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    Good luck with the surgery and recovery! I guess the MRI confirmed the torn meniscus or are you still waiting on the actual diagnosis?
     
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  29. BetterAtDoubles

    BetterAtDoubles New User

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    Sounds very similar to my story, and we're nearly the same age and playing level. Interesting. Thanks for sharing. I played almost 3 hours of singles with another 4.5 guy last night and it didn't hurt at all, and it feels okay today. So odd...

    So what about the second tear and its diagnosis and treatment?
     
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  30. Ennismt

    Ennismt Rookie

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    I had a knee that was giving out occasionally, especially going up stairs. I was pretty disturbed by it and went to the doctor. I had an MRI done and the result was simply tendonitis. I was doing a lot of leg presses and squats at the time, in addition to b-ball and tennis. I rested my knee cut out the weights and while soreness comes around at times, my knee has not given out since. Hindsight would have had me skip the MRI and expense and just rested my knee. I guess I got peace of mind.
     
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  31. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Just got the MRI today, so no confirmation. I feel confident that it's torn, though. I think maybe a piece of it folded over or got caught or something, causing the sudden flame-out. I can straighten, but bending is a [bleep].

    But heh. One of my doubles partners is having a lumpectomy today and will soon know whether the cancer has spread.

    I feel fortunate.
     
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  32. BetterAtDoubles

    BetterAtDoubles New User

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    I've been wondering if there are other problems that can cause the knee to give out, and now I know. Thanks for the info. Hopefully I'll know what my issue is next week some time.
     
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  33. BetterAtDoubles

    BetterAtDoubles New User

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    Doctor found nothing major

    Good news for me. I went to the doctor today, and he didn't find anything major. Of course, it's been feeling fine and didn't hurt at all during his examination. I even played tennis last night to see if it would flare up.

    They did x-rays and didn't see anything like a meniscus problem. I can't remember the term he used, but he basically thinks I just need to strengthen my quads and hamstrings and talk to the Sports Medicine specialist at the same facility. So I've set up an appointment with him for next week, and I'm going to have him look at my shoulder while I'm there, since he also specializes in that area.
     
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  34. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    Having just gone through a meniscus surgery the feeling of loose knees is something I'm familiar with.

    Apparently I might have some acl issues with the left knee with explains the sensation of a floating joint.

    The solution given by the sports physician are muscle strengthening exercises to better support the weak ligaments.

    Also I doubt that an xray will show any tissue damage. A mir would be the best option.

    mawashi
     
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