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Had lateral meniscus damage. Lump appeared on upper kneecap. What type of knee injury do I have?

Feb 2014
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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 5930 Questions
I played basketball all through my youth. I have always had my knees locking and then popping since adolescence. I'll be 33 this month. Approx. 4 years ago I was squatting down at work, and when I stood my left knee popped harder than it ever has before. I knew something bad had happened immediately. While at work within minutes of this happening my knee began to bruise and a lump was visible over my left upper kneecap, lateral side. The lump is still there to this day. I get around ok on it, but in certain positions it feels like I'm going to damage it more such as crossing left leg over right or Indian style sitting. It is more visible when the leg is bent. I did a little research on line, and I was pretty convinced I had lateral meniscus damage with the lump being a meniscus cyst. However, now I'm reading about lumps over knees that are bone; I can't remember what that is called. The people who have this bone "floating" over their knee can move it around. Mine doesn't move around, but it is very hard like bone. If something presses it hard enough it will hurt, and if it gets bumped it will bruise. I don't bruise that easily anywhere else. I don't have insurance, so I've never had this checked out. I'm getting into whitewater kayaking and you have to use your knees often inside the boat. I'm seriously considering getting a knee brace. What type of knee injury do you think I sustained; what do you think this lump is?
Posted Wed, 20 Mar 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 1 hour later
Hi and welcome to XXXXXXX
Thanks for posting your query.

Although it isn't possible to diagnose your condition without an examination and a few tests, description you provided is suggestive of lateral meniscal cyst. In your case etiology of meniscal cysts seems to be due to trauma, which results in contusion and hemorrhage within the substance of the meniscus, leading to mucoid degeneration.
When located laterally, meniscal cysts usually are palpable immediately anterior and proximal to the head of the fibula and anterior to the lateral collateral ligament. They usually are firm and apparently fixed to the capsular tissue. They contain a clear, gelatinous material and usually are multilocular. When of average size, they are characteristically more prominent when the knee is extended and less prominent when the knee is flexed.
MRI most clearly defines the cyst and any associated meniscal pathological conditions. I suggest you to get a MRI of knee done, so that exact diagnosis can be

Hope this will help you. Please do write back if you have any additional concerns.

Wishing you good health...

Dr Saurabh Gupta.
Orthopaedic Surgeon.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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