Right Knee Stiffness


Q: Ok i have knee pain let me explain: i am 19, when i was around 16 my left knee used to pain (and i noticed it came on when rain fell, but i use to use voltaren emulgel and it would go away, but not now). It never used to hurt while walking, but when i was like 17/18 it used to get stiff when i walk alot(like the mall and auto shows). Now i cant bend it more than 90 degrees, and i cant fully extend my knee as quick as my other knee because it hurts. i can still sprint and walk (basically anything that i dont have to extend my knee more than 90 degrees). I went to the doctor they took xrays and they said it was fine, but it is still stiff. I tried using the gym bike, it would take about 10mins of trying to bend my knee so that it can make a full rotation on the bike. After riding the bike for 10-30 mins, my knee would loosen up a little, but then it will get back stiff the next day. and sometimes i feel a thing-ling sensation moving up and down on my foot with the stiff knee(ONLY on my hamstrings, and the front left part of my foot between my knee and ankle).The back left part of my hamstring which is attached to my knee also hurts when i try to bend my knee more than 90 degrees. and also there is fine gray hair on both of my knee caps...if that helps. So do you know what may be causing it? Thanks


A:   According to your description of the symptoms, most likely you may have a Patellofemoral Syndrome, which basically is an unbalanced muscle pull that produced excessive pressure or leverage forces on the knee joint surfaces. The difficulty in flexing/ extending the knee that you described is a common presentation of the Patellofemoral Syndrome
The suggested strategy should be: strengthening and stretching the main muscle of the thigh: quadriceps, to restore the muscle balance around the knee joint, for this is indicated physical therapy for 6 to 8 weeks, using ice packs at the end of the exercise routine to decrease pain and swelling. The use of soft knee braces helps to control patella position and restrict full knee flexion which is good to ease the pain. Also, and very important, you have to stretch the hamstring muscles and the activities or sports that require frequent squatting must be avoided until the pain is under control. If there is a limited response to the treatment and locking or instability of the affected knee is noticed, then an orthopedic surgeon evaluation must be considered.

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