I am a 57 yr. old female with a mystery knee problem.
When it started about 8 yrs. ago, I would feel like my knee was catching or slipping out of joint - usually when straightening my legs after sitting on the floor cross-legged. The catching seems to occur on the lateral posterior side (outer back side) of the knee where the fibular collateral ligament meets the top of the fibula. In the beginning, it was just a catching feeling and an Ouch, with no residual pain. Over the years, the catching and ouch progressed to become so painful, I couldn't stand on that leg for an hour or so.
Three years ago, I saw an Orthopedic Dr. who did arthroscopic surgery for a suspected meniscus tear. After surgery, the doctor said he found no meniscus tear and said my knee was fine, except for some early Chondromalacia (softening of the cartlidge under the patella). He said I had some plica tissue that might be causing my trouble, which he trimmed down.
The surgery did not cure my knee problem. I have since consulted with 4 Orthopedic Specialists, had several MRI's and done months of Physical Therapy, including faithfully performing leg exercises several times a day with the addition of leg weights to build up leg muscles.
I no longer sit cross legged anymore and am extremely cautious not to twist, turn, kneel, or over-use my knees.
Still, the locking problem occurs, without warning. The length of time for recovery after a lockup has progressed to where I'm unable to put any weight on sore knee leg for several days, then I'm limping for over a week.
After recovery, the knee has no pain and no limit to range of motion until the mysterous knee lock occurs again without warning (about every 2 or 3 months).
The last few times it happened, I was sleeping in bed, having no recent trouble or pain and just moved my leg slightly to straighten it, felt it catch and lock with extreme pain. Then I'm unable to use the leg until it recovers from the trauma.
The last doctor I consulted, an Orthopedist at the University of Pennsylvania said he couldn't find anything wrong (excepting the Chondromalacia) . So I asked him "Do I just have to live with this knot knowing when my knee will go out on me again"? His reply was "sometimes patients come in here who can't walk at all, and we have to tell them we can't help them. At least you can walk most of the time."
My friends have suggested a knee replacement, however my knee joint is fine - at least according to MRI's and photos taken inside my knee during arthroscopy. My mystery condition is worsening. I am turning into a handicapped person because of a mystery knee problem, and don't know where to turn next.