22 year old female, 5'7" 190 lbs
does not participate in sports or other athletic activity beyond yoga
instability and pain in right knee, extending into quadriceps
I twisted my knee five or six years ago, while I was in high school. My knee was locked so that my foot was at a ninety degree angle difference from its normal position, pointing inwards. Moving out of this position was extremely painful, so I walked on this for three days before going to the ER. The ER took x-rays, gave me muscle relaxers and pain killers and sent me home with no definitive answers as to what I had done to my knee. I was eventually able to straighten out my foot and the pain got down to a tolerable point where it would only really hurt if I tried to run/jump on it.
Last year, I was getting off of my friend's floor when my knee cracked loudly. I was unable to get up unassisted because of the pain. I was left limping because I could not put weight on the leg. The day after I did this, I twisted my knee at work (turning to talk to a co-worker) and had to be sent home because I could no longer stand on it or function without crying.
Since then, the knee has gone through phases of being able to take my weight and not. Lately, the pain has been getting a lot worse, radiating up from the knee into my quadriceps and hip. I cannot straighten the leg without an intense burning sensation from the knee up my thigh. Sometimes, my thigh muscle will start to spasm. There are times when the pain seems sudden and without a real cause because it will come on when I am not putting weight on the leg (such as when I am in the car).
The knee feels unstable. I have intense pain throughout the joint and up my quadriceps. Bracing helps in terms of stability, but can make the pain in my quads worse. There are times when the knee swells. It seems as if the knee cap on the side with the injury is smaller than the other, but this appearance could be due to the swelling.
I have taken to walking with a cane because my stability is so bad and the leg doesn't always want to hold. There are nights that the pain is so bad I'm unable to sleep.
It doesn't seem like my doctor takes my pain seriously when I go in. I've been given instructions to do various rehabilitating exercises, but none of them have helped give me more stability or reduce the pain.
My mother and my sister proposed condromalacia and a slight tear in a ligament as possibilities (they have both served time as OR nurses).
I need help finding out what this could possibly be, as well as some tips on talking to my doctor so I will be taken seriously about my pain.
Thank you in advance.