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Having pain in knee, feeling difficulty to sleep. MRI showed abnormal bone marrow on knee. Worrisome

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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 1991
Answered : 20 Questions
I have had left knee pain for months now & it is sometimes difficult to sleep. it can happen at any time day or night. I had an mri which stated i had abonrmal bone marrow on the knee. Now my doctor is sending me for a hematogy profile - however he stated he doubted they would find anything? not even sure what he meant. The doctor stateed I have thick fluid around my knee cap. It does not hurt to touch but radiates with pain. Is there surgery to fix this ? I do not want to live a the pain. my knee does not lock and i have no problme moving it, it is just a throbbing pain, shoots down my leg at times. i am 46 and weigh 165 and am otherwises healthy. I have enjoyed running in the past --off and on. I do want to have to manage the pain and live with it becuz i an allegeric to antiinflammatory meds and ibuprovin.- aspirin. . tylenol does nothing for the pain. if i had to ice it would be an all day event. and not realisic while working. oh and an x-ray showed nothing wrong with my bones . I don't smoke and i am not obese. i do not have a menescual tear either.
Posted Wed, 22 Aug 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Deepak Goyal 4 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

Well, the information you have given us quite lengthy but still incomplete.

Is pain more while walking, or at rest, or while using stairs. Did you have any injury?

Most of the time, bone marrow oedema is not significant clinically. But we need to know type of oedema and extent of it. Sometimes, it is benign also.

Secondly I also need to know more about fluid around knee cap.

Can you upload the images and MR report?? You have a feature to upload the reports / image by yourself at the right side of the query page, please utilize that so that I can answer your queries better.

I feel that Physiotherapy and supportive drugs should help you.

But, only after seeing the complete reports I would be able to suggest you better.

Awaiting your response.

Dr Deepak Goyal
Cartilage, Arthroscopy & Knee Surgery
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having pain in knee, feeling difficulty to sleep. MRI showed abnormal bone marrow on knee. Worrisome 10 hours later
i have not had an injury. the pain just started without any injury. it can hurt at any time during the day/night. i do not have the mri images. the doctor explained to me that the mri showed thick fluid around the kneecap. i cannot take drugs for the pain because i am allergic to them. what more do you need to know about the fluid around my knee, it's thick and the bone marrow is abnormal. that is all i was told.
whatdo you mean by bone marrow oedema is not significant clinically?is there such a thing as surgery to drain the knee of it's thick fluid? i wasn't sure what category to put my question in... in any case i'm hoping you can explain bone marrow and thickness around kneecap and what surgery i can have to take the pain away?
Answered by Dr. Deepak Goyal 12 hours later
Hi and thanks again,

It's unfortunate that we do not have the MRI details to discuss. Without it, the information you provided is too less to come to any conclusion. But here are some explanations.

1. Bone marrow edema is a common abnormality found on MRI. It means there is a fluid / blood collection within the marrow / it is inflamed. I would need to study the MR image to know exactly what that is.

2. Fluid around knee cap is usually a reactionary fluid to some abnormality. Again requires detailed MR images to understand more.

Sometimes, when doctor tell you just this; that may mean he/she is yet to find the exact cause and that means you need more investigations.

Surgery cannot be proposed unless we know the root cause. You need to talk to your doctor again and know what his diagnosis of this pain is.

I hope this helps. I will be available here for more information once you know the diagnosis or get the MRI details.

Kind regards,
Dr. Deepak Goyal
Cartilage, Arthroscopy & Knee Surgery
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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