Constant Discomfort and Weakness in Right Knee

Patient

Q: About 6 months ago I started doing minor gardening work, which frequently involved kneeling down in stones and I foolishly decided to bear through the discomfort. After enduring this maybe five or six times, I decided to get tools that would allow me to work standing, but ever since I've had persistent discomfort in my right knee. There's a constant feeling of weakness, particularly when I stretch out my leg. Doing any exercises that involve bending or squatting cause my knees to crack, similar to how someone might crack their knuckles. While there's no pain, it's a constant annoyance and I feel like after this long it isn't repairing itself. What could actually be wrong with my knee? Should I exercise the knee more to repair it, or will that cause more damage?

Symptoms:  Persistent discomfort in knee, feelings of weakness in knee, knee pops/cracks when squatting
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. It is likely that you have strained your knee joint resulting in the discomfort you are experiencing. What we recommend you avoid strenuous exercise while your knee is healing. You can do moderate exercises, and light stretching to keep the joint loose. The cracking/popping you are hearing is likely a benign phenomenon. You can also apply ice to the joint to reduce any inflammation in your knee joint as well. If your symptoms persist for a longer period of time, please have it check by a physician. You may need to undergo diagnostic imaging in order to discern whether there is no damage to any of the structures of your knee joint.

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