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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Joint surgery

Question: Clicking knee with swelling, no pain

 teacher48 - Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:32 am

I am athletic, have relatively good muscle tone, do aerobics regularly, enjoy walking, hiking,etc. About 3 weeks ago while mowing the lawn, I noticed my rt. knee went out sideways. I felt a funny sensation in it, but not pain. Later, I noticed the knee was swollen a bit, i.e., swelling was not obvious to me by looking at it, but was noticeable when comparing to the left knee. Since there was no pain and I was able to walk normally (abeit with a "strange" sensation in the knee), I took a wait-and-see approach. A week later I went on a long-awaited vacation that entailed some daily optional walking, but nothing strenuous.

This past week there was still some swelling, so I used an ace-bandage. Still no pain, but I notice a little stiffness when using stairs and feel an occasional clicking. Also, noticed some bruising in the kneecap area.
Now I recalled that about a month ago, while pushing a piano, I had wedged my knee against it for that "final" push. (Dumb, I know).

Most info that I have found on internet, etc., point to possible tears in ligaments or meniscus, damaged patella, with horrible consequences for those who do not have it checked out by an MD and surgically corrected.

I tend to think --- if no pain and basically functional, although I no longer run up the stairs, I can still give it some time to heal. If so, what exercises need I avoid? Can I swim? Can I do careful aerobics? I've been avoiding the gym till this gets fully resolved.

Thanks for your input,
 John Kenyon, CNA - Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:36 am

User avatar Hello -

I think you've pretty thoroughly researched your problem and have learned what the likely causes of the sensation might be. The problem is that while pain is useful in motivating us toward care, this sort of injury (especially if it involves rupture or displacement of a ligament, which seems likely) is not always appropriately painful, and it's only when the knee does something really bizarre that people tend to find it necessary to seek medical intervention. Trust me, you're better off avoiding that step in the process. While self-treatment could work, these things do not usually get better on their own, and while surgery may not be required at this point, if you continue to walk on it (and maybe do other things to keep it from healing) it could well wind up requiring increasingly more involved surgical repair. While these can often be accomplished through minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery, the longer one waits, the more likley an open procedure may become necessary. Again, right now you may well be within the scope of working with a brace and anti-inflammatories. It's certainly worth heading off as early as possible.

I hope this is helpful. Please do stay in touch with us here and let us know how things work out.

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