Discussions By Condition: Knee conditions

Locking extreme pain behind knee that keeps recurring at random times without a sports injury

Posted In: Knee conditions 0 Replies
  • Posted By: bssigirl
  • June 24, 2015
  • 08:28 PM

Just want to see if anyone else has been able to get this diagnosed and found any relief. I am a 49 year old woman, not extremely active but used to work out (treadmill, elliptical) 3-4x per week. Otherwise, healthy and no major medications. I am highly allergic to any anti-inflammatory drugs though which does not help.

Basic facts --- in October, after working out at gym, a heard a horrible pop and had extreme pain upon getting out of my car. I went to Ortho doc and had an mri. Was diagnosed with slight calf tear and burst Baker's cyst. He said there was nothing to be done.

Following that initial injury, I spent about 2 months doing RICE and did not resume workouts.
From time to time over the past 8 months, usually after a night's sleep, I would pull my knee up and it would lock. The only way to describe it is it feels like an extreme tight band that seizes and is horribly painful. When it happens, I cannot straighten or bend. It's stuck until it relaxes. I have found that a knee brace and heat with deep tissue massage of the back of the knee can help unlock it. I usually sleep with the brace on to avoid bending too much. Full extension is not a problem unless it locks.

Additionally -- at all times, I have been having pitting edema in my ankle on same leg. I asked my doctor on follow up and he said its just synovial fluid trying to continue healing.

Yesterday, I stood up from a chair and the popping was audible 2 rooms away in our house (along with my screams). The pain was worse than the first time it had happened and I could not bend or straighten my leg in any direction without extreme pain. My entire lower leg including foot and toes also swelled a lot. After about 30-40 minutes my husband managed to get my brace on and carry me to the couch so I could at least sit but again, the hurt leg was horribly in pain. I can only describe it as a locked feeling between the lower hamstring and upper calf directly behind my knee. It's not the knee that hurts --- it's a tendon or nerve or something behind the knee. It hurt so bad at the onset that I told my husband to grab a razor and just cut open the back of my hamstring and calf to make the pain go away. Long story short, only after about 6 hours could I get it massaged with heat to make it relax and let go. I slept with the brace on with it fully extended.

I continue to keep it extended as bending brings on the twinge that indicates it may lock up again. I can walk on it as long as I do not bend it. The biggest difficulty is getting up and down -- any threat of bending it closed threatens the locking mechanism.
I called my doctor who cannot see me until next week and from his nurse, I was told to just rest and elevate and alternate heat and cold therapy.
This is frustrating and I'm finding it hard to believe there's nothing that can be done. I can't really afford another MRI. If anyone knows what this could be (other than Baker's Cyst)and has any suggestions of what to have the doctor look for, I would appreciate it. I am just so frustrated as this continues to occur and would like to get this fixed.

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