I have been dealing with severe knee pain and mobility issues every winter for 3 years. Summer I am symptom free. My left knee only. Pain I would describe as large pieces of glass tucked in around the knee cap. Night pain is so bad I often cannot sleep. Standing and walking can be almost impossible. There is no red hot swelling, the knee feels ice cold to me, which points possibly at a circulation problem. I almost never swell or bruise from any injury. Stairs can be pure agony. I have had no measurable redness, heat or swelling in my knees at all during this entire time.
3 years ago they found effusions in both knees, which is the strongest sign of inflamation. This despite no redness, heat or swelling. I was in prison at the time, and was forced to stand outside in freezing temperatures in clothing that was seriously insufficient for the conditions. My knees hard locked 3 times in about a week, ripping who knows what while trying to walk with knees that had no flex in them at all. Months of serious pain followed. Sometimes one knee would get better then the symptoms switched to the other knee. I am 41 and did not have these problems before the 6 months in prison. They did a dubious blood test for gout, which has no meaningful results, and eventually an xray. People can have high levels and be gout free, or low levels and still have gout. The horrible boots I was wearing at the time did not help anything either. After release from prison, I did see a friend with a PHD in Chinese medicine. She told me my left knee cap was slightly out of position.
My right knee seems to have recovered completely, the left is pure agony as soon as the first slight chill of winter comes in. Cold nights in august are already effecting my knee. Warm wet heat and Ibuprofin both help a little. A knee warmer made out of a stretched out wool sock helps some.
During the summer i can do multi mile walks and work construction no problem. During the winter some days I have a hard time walking a few steps to my own toilet. The severe pain is depressing, some days I want to just cut the whole leg off.
If you have any clue what could possibly be wrong with me please let me know. I am tired and frustrated. Trying to keep a job when you can't reliably walk or stand for over 6 months of the year is impossible. I refuse to go on disability and just want my life back.