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    Suggest treatment for severe knee pain

Posted on Tue, 8 Aug 2017 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: my knees are so painful I can barely walk.
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Questions so that I can help

Detailed Answer:

I am sorry to hear this. Please let me know the following and then I can provide more specific information.

1. How long has this been going on?
2. Both knees equally?
3. Was there an injury that started this or something else? Any information about how this started will be helpful.
4. Where in the knees does it hurt?
5. What activities (bending your knees? walking? etc) make it worse?
6. Is the pain constant?
7. What have you tried to make it better (Tylenol, Advil, Ice/Heat, physical therapy, etc)
8. Is there any swelling or deformity?
9. If I saw you in the office/clinic, the nurse would record your height and weight. Can you provide these for me, as it is important information here.
10. Do you have a history of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or autoimmune disorders?
11. What evaluation (X-rays, orthopedic consult, etc) has been done so far?

Please answer all 11 of these questions carefully and I will respond.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 24 minutes later
5 days
both knees
I started a run walk program to train for a3 k 1st day great 2nd day painful 3rd day could only walk d/t pain rested 2 days then walked now can barely walk
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 17 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Hi -

From the limited history you provided, my best guess is that on the first day of training, some injury or inflammation occurred, which has continued.

You will need to rest your knees adequately until they heal, and depending on what type of damage occurred, resting may be adequate, or you may need to see a doctor to evaluate. Given the severity of your pain, I recommend going ahead with seeing a doctor now, who can examine your knees (this alone can often tell us whether a ligament/tendon has been strained), and do X-rays. If something more severe is suspected, an MRI study will be ordered, but this is down the road, not something that is done acutely. The doctor may also recommend a knee brace for support and to prevent further injury.

For now: make an appointment with your doctor, take ibuprofen 3 times/day (if you do not have a history of stomach or kidney problems) with food, rest, and if there is swelling, ice the knees.

If you can't get in to see your doctor soon, consider going to urgent care clinic instead.

I hope this information helps.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 20 minutes later
I am 52 yo female 158 lbs 5'6" (30 lbs over weight)
no hx/dx
pain is a constant ache
sharps severe pain with standing and walking
feels like bone on bone
no swelling noted
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 12 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for the additional information.

If you are having pain even with standing and it is severe, I would not wait at home with resting to see if it will go away. You need an exam and X-rays of the knees.

This could be anything from osteoarthritis of the knee that has become inflamed because of the activity, patellar tendonitis or patellofemoral syndrome (depending on the location of pain on exam) or even ACL or meniscal injury, but I doubt the latter two given that it is in both knees.

Your weight is not particularly contributory here. Knee pain with minimal exertion can occur in people who are morbidly obese, which you are not. I asked about autoimmune disorders (and I see you've indicated you have none) because this can cause pain in both knees at the same time, but I think this is less likely given your healthy history.

So - do go in to be seen. Good luck, and I hope you are feeling better soon!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3136 Questions


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