Patient :What is the likely cause of my ongoing knee pain?
27yo female, ongoing left knee pain, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis 2 years ago. I have remicade infusions as treatment and therefore a lot of pain medications and anti-inflammatories are not allowed. I have minor joint degeneration in my left ankle from an injury. I do not play sport, however one of my jobs is in a supermarket and involves long periods of standing/walking and heavy lifting/physical activity. At the time the pain commenced I was working 30+ hours a week doing physically strenuous work. I now only work 15+hrs.
I have been having ongoing knee pain for 6months. It worsens with use. The pain is sharp and located to the front left and rear left of the knee. I cannot fully straighten my leg (causes sharp pain to the point where I have screamed before) and I cannot kneel or squat without feeling pain or as though my knee will collapse. There has been no swelling however my knee clicks when I walk and grinds noticeably. When my knee is particularly sore, if I do not keep it in motion it will stiffen up very painfully. At the end of the day the pain is often so bad I cannot sit/get in to bed or sleep as the pain keeps me awake.
Xray shows nothing, joint appeared clear.
MRI showed my upper thigh bone (femur?) as white and the joint area (epicondyle?) as black (bones are meant to appear black on the scan taken). The report said this could be indicative of a systematic disease. My specialist has said this is not worrisome as it could be related to my ulcerative colitis or previous treatment with steroids (approx 50umg daily dose for 2yrs, off steroids for 2yrs now). There are some minor irregularities in the knee cap, minor enough that the specialist does not believe it to be the source of my pain. I also have a small ganglion in the rear of my knee, likely from past injury.
The orthopedic surgeon has referred me to a rheumatologist to pursue arthiritis, however I do not have any small joint symptoms or swelling.
I do not have a copy of the MRI report, this information is from memory after my consult with an orthopedic surgeon. I have the MRI and Xray scans however do not have the capacity to upload them.
I have spent the majority of my adult life in pain from one medical condition or another. Being told my knee pain is permanent at age 27 is not an answer I am willing to accept.
Symptoms: Knee sharp pain. Left of knee cap, rear left of knee. Knee grinds and clicks when walking. Unable to completely straight without extreme pain, unable to knee or squat with stability. Knee bent for long periods results in a feeling of painful pressure. Pain worsens with use.
These Q&A’s are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.