Pain in both knees possibly caused by sport, about a year

Patient

Q: What is wrong with my knee, or what is causing the pain?

Symptoms:  The pain is in both knees, my right more than my left. It started around a year ago after taking several hard falls in basketball. It seems to be gradually getting worse. I usually have a dull, achy feeling in both of my knees throughout the day, even when resting. Standing, sitting, or exercise (running, etc.) for too long makes the pain sharper. My right knee has locked up once, and has almost locked up several times since within the past few months. It has also given out multiple times. There is sometimes a little swelling, and in the right lighting faint red marks can be seen. My knees seem to pop more than most people's knees, especially whenever my hips turn but not my legs. When a hand is put on my kneecap when I'm sitting with my knees bent, a weird feeling can be felt. It is almost like a creaking, or possibly a grinding. It is more prominent in my left knee than my right. It happens every time I sit down, and I can sometimes feel it when I bend my knee without putting a hand on it. After having a physical exam this summer to be cleared for sports, the physician who did a quick exam on my joints said that my thighs weren't strong enough to support me so my knees were making up for it which was causing the pain, but I don't think that's the case because my thighs have gotten stronger but my knees still hurt. I'm not an adult yet, so I doubt it would be possibly for me to get arthritis even though I show a few possible symptoms for it. I think basketball last year may have caused it.
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. There could be several causes for the pain that you are experiencing in your lower extremities. The first could be inflammation of the tendons of the knee. This is called tendinitis. Tendinitis is very commonly develops in persons performing high impact sports such as running. Tendinitis can usually be treated with rest, antiinflammatory medications, and physiotherapy. It also is a possibility that you may be developing osteoarthritis of the knees. This occurs when the cartilage of the knee deteriorates leading to pain and inflammation in the knee joint. We recommend that you follow up with a thorough evaluation by your doctor and also refrain from high impact strenuous activity.

Thank you for consulting AskTheDoctor.com

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