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Date of last update: 8/21/2017.

Forum Name: Rheumatology Topics

Question: restless legs with knee pain

 Kelikei914 - Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:00 pm

I am a 23 year old female and ever since I can remember I have had restless legs. It seams to be getting worse as the years pass. I get sharp pain and tightness in the lower outside part under the knee (both legs) when I go to bed or at rest and feel the need to move around until i can get semi comfortable. Also I kick during sleep and toss and turn all night. Sometimes it is so bad I have to get up and walk around for 20 minutes so I can sleep. The pain is getting worse. I have been to a Rheumatologist and an Orthopedist and they could not find anything. I do not know what to do because I cannot sleep and when I do it is for 30 min increments. I do not know what to do anymore. The only thing that helps me sleep is if I take two Motrin and thats because it makes me so tired and even then it takes about 40 minutes to fall asleep and I am still exhausted the next morning.
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:36 am

User avatar Hi Kelikei914,
RLS is an unpleasant sensation in the lower limbs (and occasionally the upper limbs) that occurs at rest and is relieved by movement. It is described by affected persons in many ways such as,
- "creeping and crawling sensation",
- "pins and needles",
- "jittery feeling" or,
- "feeling fidgety".

Your description of pain in the outer aspect of the leg below the knee has not been mentioned(to the best of my lnowledge) as a common symptom in RLS.

Drugs associated with RLS include:
- Phenytoin
- Nicotine
- Paroxetine
- Caffeine
- Mianserin
- Alcohol

Systemic disorders associated with RLS include:

- vascular disease including congestive cardiac failure
- End-stage renal disease
- neuropathies
- diabetes
- rheumatoid arthritis
- spinal cord and cauda equina damage
- radiculopathies
- thoracic spinal lesions
- complete spinal cord injury
- Parkinson's disease
- Iron deficiency
- Folate deficiency

Cryoglobulinaemic neuropathy manifesting with restless legs syndrome has been reported in middle aged women.
In one study, psychological disorders had been diagnosed in 44% of the men and 46% of the women (cf. 10% and 23% of controls respectively).

Pain in the outer aspect of the leg below the knee is suggestive of a condition known as "Peroneal muscle spasm".This is known to occur commonly with 'Pes planus' or flat foot (especially spastic flat foot associated with bony deformities in the foot bones).You may need to be investigated for this possibility.
Best wishes!
 Kelikei914 - Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:24 pm

I have been diagnosed with RLS and I do have they symptoms of this, but for some reason most of my pain seems to be in the outside of my left knee. I always feel the urge to crack or pop them to make them semi comfortable. I have to toss vigorously and or get up and pace around the room. When it comes to the flat feet, I do not have flat feet. For the past year I have been wearing orthotics to help during the day. However, when it comes to sleeping I have a hard time falling and staying asleep due to my legs.
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:25 am

User avatar Hi,
"Peroneal muscle spasm" is still likely. It may co-exist with RLS. Good luck!
 SloppyFloppy - Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:43 am

Dear Kelikei914,

I can completely understand your frustration as RLS can be such a relentless pain. It just about drove me nuts and then I had a thought, perhaps epiphany, depending on whether this works for you as it has worked wonders for me.

I have had multiple surgeries throughout the years and I remember them always putting surgical stockings on my legs (like tight hosiery) designed to keep the blood flowing through your legs while you're laid up recovering. I remembered how good they felt when the nurse put them on me before surgery and all of a sudden and "aha" moment arrived.

I dug around the house, finally finding a pair. I placed them on, climbed in to bed and lo and behold the discomfort was reduced from 100% to 15%. I couldn't believe it. It made me believe that perhaps RLS is simply a blood flow problem robbing the nerves of adequate blood.

Maybe it will work for you, or perhaps it was just a fix for me. Give it a try and good luck!!!!


Joel (SloppyFloppy)

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