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Sports Medicine

Knee pain

03/24/2008

Question:

I have lateral and medial intermittent knee pain. Only when I load the knee (lowering my body) at a slight angle. Sharp and very brief. As the day goes on, it goes away. Some day I don`t even have pain at all. It feels better in a brace or wrap. 40 yo Male. Any Ideas or suggestions?

Answer:

The most appropriate treatment would be based on the cause of your knee symptoms. If you've injured this knee before, causes of your symptoms would include possible ligament or cartilage injury, including "post-traumatic arthritis". If you've not injured this knee before, causes could include "patellofemoral pain" due to abnormal "tracking" of your kneecap in the groove in the end of your femur (thighbone), degenerative changes involving cartilage in your knee, or even pain "referred" from your hip or lower back. The fact you feel better wrapping or bracing your knee makes it less likely pain is referred to your knee from elsewhere.

Although your symptoms may benefit from such "symptomatic" treatments as knee wrapping/bracing, ice application, anti-inflammatory medication, and minimizing symptom-producing positions and activities, if your symptoms aren't improving, and certainly if they are getting any worse, you are best advised to undergo a medical evaluation including physical examination and possibly imaging studies, to establish a diagnosis so the most appropriate treatment plan can be implemented.

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Response by:

Brian L Bowyer, MD Brian L Bowyer, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University