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Sports Medicine

Pain at the Back of My Knee

05/20/2010

Question:

Hi, I am 23 yrs old. After I walk or stand for 15 mins or more, a pain starts at the back of my knee which will remain there for a day or two, depending on the amount of strain. I am having this problem for more than 8 yrs. I have consulted many doctors, but was not able to find a solution or understand what the root cause is. In the xray and MRI there was no sign of wear and tear and everything was normal. Initially when the pain was started it was there in only on one knee. Now both the knees are affected. Recently I consulted a doctor who asked me whether my leg is swelling when I am suspending my leg(without any support at the feet). when I checked the entire leg(below knee) is swelling, especially my feet.I don`t know whether this is any kind of symptom. There is also slight swelling behind my knee which increases with the strain. I don`t have any sort of knee injuries till now. Do you have any suggestion/recommendation for the treatment of my knee?

Answer:

Ideally, treatment recommendations are based on a diagnosis, which it appears you remain without. Diagnosis needs to be based not only on diagnostic testing such as the imaging studies you've undergone, but also on results from physical examination, which of course is not possible over the Internet.

Although you mentioned having consulted with a number of doctors over the past 8 years or more, it's unknown if these have represented a number of different specialties... the physicians who have evaluated you have hopefully included such specialists as an orthopedist, physical medicine physician, and possibly pain management physician. The fact you've had swelling raises the additional option of consulting with a vascular medicine specialist, if you've not done so already. You may also need to consult with more than one physician from the same specialty.

If your symptoms are not progressively worsening, this may be some small consolation, despite their persistence and chronicity.

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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