Patient: For the last couple of days, I have been experiencing pain in the back of one of my knees. I have had pain when bending it, but straightening it was OK. I had pain when walking on it. It felt “tight”. Today, when getting into my car, I heard two cracking sounds. Instant pain and tears. Now, I am in constant pain, can’t walk on it or put any weight on it. I have a hard time moving my leg, can’t straighten it without extreme pain, but bending it is better. No swelling that I can see. Help!
Doctor: There is a possibility that your symptoms may be due to degenerative changes in your knees, meaning Arthritis. On the o other hand, the way you described the situations when the pain worsens may suggest a common presentation of a Patellofemoral Syndrome or Chondromalacia patella . The pain typically is located behind the kneecap and often shows during activities that require knee flexion and forceful contraction of the quadriceps (during squats, ascending/descending stairs or pendants). Pain may be worsen by sitting with the knee flexed for a long period of time, such as while watching a movie, hence leading to the terms “theatre sign” and “movie-goer’s knee.” The causes are diverse: Overuse (repetitive use or activity), overloading, and misuse of the patellofemoral joint. Physical Therapy and some lifestyle changes may help to improve the symptoms, meaning: weight loss and exercise. Regular exercise may help you to strengthen the muscles, especially quads and also potentially stimulate cartilage growth and regeneration.