Random Sharp Knee Pain

Patient

Q: I have tried to see if anyone else has had this pain and there has been a lot of questions online that can't be answered, they have even gone to professionals with no luck. Of course I'm hoping my case is different. My doctor is away until the 20th and I'm not sure if this is really emergency necessary. Is there anyway to know what is happen or should I go to emergency?

Symptoms:  I have been having on and off pain in my knee for about 2 weeks. It seems to be more so on the top part of my knee. It's a random sharp pain that last for about 30 seconds than goes away a couple hours and comes back. A small amount of pain has been lingering now so when I walk around or sitting with my legs crossed it hurts, but not terribly like the sharp pain. The sharp pain comes around no matter what I am doing, eating, sitting, sleeping, walking. It wakes me up at night about 2-3 times it's so bad.
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. This sharp pain that you are experiencing could be due to an impinged nerve in the area of the knee. The common peroneal nerve is one such nerve that can become entrapt resulting in intense sharp pain in the knee, which can be intermittent in nature. Common peroneal nerve entrapment also can cause symptoms of mucle spasms of the lower leg, changes in gait and curling of the toes. In order to diagnose this, a full examination of your knee needs to be perfomed along with diagnostic imaging such as an MRI. It may also be wise to have a nerve conduction study performed to elucidate the extent of damage within the nerve. If diagnosed, treatment will be designed according to severity of the nerve injury. This treatment can range from physical therapy, medications, and in the most severe cases, surgery.

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