Locking and pain in the knees

Patient: I am 15 and my leg locks itself up tightly enough to where it usually dosent come unlocked for a few minutes, and the joint hurts when I try to move it. Any Ideas about what i should do about this?


Doctor: Given the description you have written about the problem of your knee, it might be important to rule out a Meniscus les sion. The menisci are C-shaped wedges of fibro cartilage located between the tibia and femur, and very close related to knee ligaments and attached also to the joint capsule. They are susceptible to get injured with leg rotation movements or rotational forces applied to them, and the lesion produced can be partial or complete tear. Meniscus injuries are common in active people as you, who are involved in sporting or physical activities. Pain along with locking or buckling is common symptoms after a meniscus lesion develops. Locking usually occurs at 20-45° of joint extension. If a torn fragment has been trapped within the joint, extension may feel limited against a rubbery resistance. Joint inflammation or capsular involvement also may resemble locking. A more reliable indicator of meniscus lesion is a click, pop or snaps after the joint unlocks, it can be or not associated with pain. A sensation of giving way 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 way due to joint instability (e.g., ACL tear) or buckling secondary to decreased activity of the quads muscle.


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Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

Dr. Suneel Sharman completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Toronto. He currently operates Infinity Health Centre, a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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