I just posted a question about a painful ball of my foot. I'm also dealing with a stiff left knee area. The stiffness occurs when I sit for a while, and then get up. I'm forced to limp for ten steps or so, as walking is painful. Then the stiffness recedes and i can walk normally, but I'm still aware of the problem, especially when I walk up steps. I feel the stiffness as beginning on the outer side of my leg, just below (maybe 3") and to the left of my patella (from my point of view) and downwards of 6 inches or so while my leg is fully extended. If I bend my knee while sitting and press the outside of my leg just below the patella I can feel a slighly tender spot. There's no pain when I'm sitting or at rest, and no swelling. It doesn't really "feel like" a knee problem, more like a south-of-the knee problem. Maybe a tendon problem?
I had laparoscopy done on this knee about five years ago to remove a loose piece of cartilage/bone that detached from my patella. Surgery went fine, with full recovery, but the doc noted that he saw a "little" arthritis in the knee.
The stiffness has happened once before, maybe two years ago. In both cases, IIRC, I had just returned from several days fishing on a river, the access to which requires me to descend 50 yards down a fairly steep grassy slope requiring some navigation to avoid upturned earth, thorny bushes etc., and then another 20 yards down a steeper slope unevenly strewn with rocks. And, of course, I have to go up those same slopes when we leave.
I don't have any other arthritic pains or joint problems (except for the gouty toe), and there's no muscle aches associated with the stiffness. The other knee is fine. I'm ten pounds overweight, middle-aged, and I exercise regularly on an "elliptical" machine and treadmill. Right now the stiffness is "almost" gone. Any ideas about what's going on here, what I might to do to control it, if not keep it from happening again? (giving up fishing at that river is NOT an option!!)