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Sports Medicine

Knee going from under me

10/14/2008

Question:

Hi my right knee has over the last four weeks is cracking quite often and on R.H.S of knee there is visible swelling, more often than not I get a very bad pain and my knee gives way under me, any suggestions what may be the cause, I have had no injury, have played tennis most of my life am 53 now. tkx. (in good health) otherwise.

Answer:

Determining the cause for your symptoms, which will then determine the best treatment, requires the performance of a history and physical examination, and sometimes, imaging studies.

The severity of your knee pain, the fact your knee has been swelling, and the knee buckling symptoms your describe are each, by themselves, reason enough for you to be evaluated by a physician.

Despite the fact you recall no specific knee injury, there could be degenerative ("wear-and-tear") changes in your knee which have reached the point where they're now causing symptoms, for example, a degenerative meniscal tear (torn cartilage), arthritis, or a patellofemoral problem (involving your knee cap).

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Response by:

Brian L Bowyer, MD Brian L Bowyer, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University