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Sports Medicine

Left knee pain

09/10/2008

Question:

i run three times a week, and do many different types of exercising. i`ve gone to my physician multiple times about my knee. every time when i finish running, my knee swells and there is shooting pain around the knee cap when i walk. and throbbing pain when i sit. i can`t sit in one position for too long, i constantly have to move my left leg in and back out again. it doesn`t make sense. they tell me i have tendonitus, but i do the stretches and get on the bike. nothing seems to help. i`m in the military so they only give me motrin but that doesn`t help. they keep blowing me off. what do you think it is? it`s been bothering me since boot camp 11 months ago. it has only been getting worse.

Answer:

This indeed can be tendinitis (of the patellar tendon particularly).  There can also be an irritation of the bursa sacs around the knee that can be irritated from running.  However, this can be a problem with the internal cartilages of the knee as well.  A good physical exam and possibly radiographic studies can help to sort this out.  If you are not satisfied with your current care, it is always reasonable to seek a second opinion. 

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Response by:

Charles Webster, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati