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Question:

Knee that gives out when walking

Dear Ask The Doctor:
About two weeks ago my knee has started to give out randomly when walking. When it happens I just kind of collapse onto the other leg. There is no pain in that knee and it has never been injured. The other knee has begun to ache but im assuming its from catching me numerous times over the past few weeks. It has been getting worse and worse especially in the last couple days. For example it has gone from doing it 6 times in one day to over thirty in the matter of about four days. Im scheduled to go see a PT soon but am curious as to what could cause this to start happening out of no where. I am active person and love to be up and moving around. Im at a healthy weight and have no other health issues so whats possibly causing this and causing its to occur so much more frequently?


Answer:

Acute knee pain and related symptoms may be caused by damage to one or more of the soft tissue structures that stabilize and cushion the knee joint (including the ligaments, muscles, tendons, and menisci). Meniscal injuries are a common problem in sports and in young active individuals; they are the most frequent injury to the knee joint. The menisci are C -shaped fibrocartilaginous structures attached to the tibia and their main functions to enhance the contact between the two articular surfaces of the knee: femur and tibia ones. The thick outline of menisci allows for a firm attachment to the joint capsule. A reliable indicator of meniscal lesion is a click or snaps after the joint unlocks, it can be or not associated with pain. A sensation of giving out may occur when the loose fragment becomes lodged for a moment in the knee joint, causing a sense of buckling. This finding should be distinguished from the sensation of giving out due to joint instability (e.g., ACL tear) or buckling secondary to decreased activity of the quadriceps femoris muscle. Spontaneous healing is common because of the rich blood supply in the meniscal periphery. Successful recovery from a meniscal tear is helped by a gradual resolution of symptoms over 6 weeks with a return to normal activity by 3 months. With time the symptoms tend to improve. If there is no significant improvement you should get a clinical (orthopedic surgeon) and Imaging (MRI) evaluation of your knee in order to decide the best treatment option for you.
 


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