General Question

ChocolateReigns's avatar

My knee keeps popping in and out and it's kinda painful. What should I do for it?

Asked by ChocolateReigns (5619points) December 19th, 2009

I went to the chiropractor this morning for it.
I have no idea what I did to it. The only thing I can think of that could have done this is that I fell on Tuesday while I was running. But it only started hurting last night. I would think that if that’s what I did to it, it would’ve started hurting earlier.
I have wrapped a towel soaked in warm water around it. I have used a heating pad. Is there anything else I can do?

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14 Answers

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

Go to an orthopedics doctor. go to the Er. Don’t go to a chiropractor.

You should have iced it the first 24 hours.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

“Popping in and out” isn’t a very good description for anyone to work with. (That may be too technical for us lay people.) Is the joint making noise when you flex it? What causes the pain, and how would you describe the pain? Is there any lateral movement in the joint (because there shouldn’t be; the knee is like the hinge on a door—it ‘opens and closes’ in one plane only when it’s working properly). How did you fall, and did you strike the knee, twist it, hyper-extend it, or what?

See a doctor, not a quack chiropractor.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

You can get a neoprene knee brace for relativelty cheap. This should help keep it in place. Keep it iced, and use it as little as possible for 24 hours, then see how it feels. If problems persist, get an x-ray or MRI to see if you have a serious problem.

gailcalled's avatar

Chiropractor is for soft tissue issues. He should have sent you to an Orthopod.

Knees are complicated hinges. Google the anatomy of the knee. Right now, the cause is less important than trying to fix what is wrong.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

@CyanoticWasp – when I straighten it all the way, it feels like it “pops”. Like cracking your knuckles. It’s hard to describe how it feels. I can’t see the knee moving sideways at all, which sounds like a good thing.
When I fell, I fell sideways (same side as the leg that hurts now) onto my leg. My shoe hadn’t been tied as tight as usual and the shoe twisted on my foot so I lost my balance and twisted the knee. The more I think about it, that’s what I think did it. But why would it take so long for me to feel it?

gailcalled's avatar

Don’t delay seeking proper help. The holidays will keep Dr’s offices and the ERs short-staffed.

dpworkin's avatar


Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.

Then call a real Doctor.

lillycoyote's avatar

Knees are very complicated, and very important, and very necessary. See a doctor. Whatever it is, and maybe it’s nothing serious… but if it is, it could trouble you the rest of your life if you don’t deal with it the right way in the first place.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I get that cracking noise, and it’s bone on bone, according to the orthopedic. The knee cap is out of place and is not sliding correctly. Mine is a structural thing, and has done it since I was a teen. If yours did not do it before, and is doing it now, then something happened when you fell. As everyone’s said: stay off it, ice it, and see the doctor. You need it x-rayed.The brace will hold it in place and will give you some relief.

Flo_Nightengale's avatar

Consult a doctor.

Jeruba's avatar

I’ve had that. I know exactly what it feels like and how indescribable it is, and just reading your question gave me that weird sick-painful sensation of knowing it’s about to let go.

I first had knee problems when I was 14. At 28 an orthopedic doctor said “chronic dislocation of the patella” and operated. That was after Ace bandages, braces, ultrasound, exercises for a year, etc. On the whole the surgery was effective, but every now and then the knee still goes out without warning, and after a while it is okay again. Last time was 4 years ago, and I Ace-bandaged it and used a cane for 4 months, and one day it tightened up again. I am very, very careful all the time.

My son took a twisting fall playing basketball as a youngster and wound up with the same surgery, only on an emergency basis. He’d love to play now, and ski, and do some other things, but those old knees are just plain factory-defective like mine, and he can’t risk it. (He does yoga, though, and hikes and bicycles.) Actually, the same thing happened to my mother when she was in her sixties. Do you have other weird knees in your family?

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Jeruba, I feel for you. My knees are damaged from injuries as a boy and young man. Baseball can be a killer—especially playing in the (paved) road (in shorts) and actually sliding into bases. What was I thinking? (The answer is: I wasn’t, but I was young and determined to make the base so the winning run could score. Winning was everything then.)

But the worse one came at a company softball game twenty years ago. I slipped starting out of the batter’s box on a ground ball that was destined to be an out anyway, and, with legs still driving (picture a cartoon character with legs windmilling and trying to get traction), I slammed my right knee hard into the ground.

Got up, rubbed some dirt on it, walked it off… hey, I’m a man, there’s no tears in baseball, etc. ... and stayed in the damn game, just because I could. Reinjured the same knee later in the game and decided I didn’t need that to happen in threes.

I’ve had a trick knee ever since. If I squat or kneel—sometimes (only at the most inconvenient times)—the whole joint will lock in the folded position. Then no matter what I’m doing, the only way to straighten it is to sit on the ground / floor where I am (I have no choice on this) and push my foot out with my hands to straighten the leg. That brings tears. And then limp for days.

There may be no tears in baseball, but there are definitely tears in baseball retirement.

Thirstyhulk's avatar

I have had a similar problem to this. I’m not a sports person, neither do I participate in any physically tasking job. Mine happens when I’m just walking around or just plain moving my legs (standing only).

The last one happened while I was in the kitchen washing the dishes, i took a plate and was moving to the left to put it on a rack when my left knee just twisted and it felt like hell. I had to fall down and let go of the plate (which broke) I was holding to grab the knee. It took roughly 3seconds for the knee to snap back in place. Can’t remember hearing any noise, maybe because of the pain.

But I am still confused as to what is happening. I am 6’3ft in height and slim. Does this happen to tall people like myself? Or do I need to see a doctor.

PS. My left leg still feels weak when I walk. And sometimes when I sit, somewhere on my left hip starts to feel sore as though I was sitting in a wrong position. And I notice whenever I do work like washing my car manually, its the left hip that pains me the most. Can’t seem to understand why.

Sassy16's avatar

My knee gave out just the other night and I could not walk on it. then the next morning I could not even put any pressure on my right leg, after 1 aleve and resting it on top of a pillow the pain started going away but I still could not put to much pressure on my leg. But here it is day 3 and I am able to walk very carefully and I try not to put to much pressure on my leg or knee but the right calf is tight which tells me that the tightness has traveled from my knee to my calf muscle and I am able to sit crossed legged but at one point when I got up my knee felt like it had popped out again, so as what it felt like and I lost my balance. Now after reading some of the other posts I do not have any popping sounds nor do I feel that type of popping. what could be the problem? I am planning on calling my Dr. tomorrow but this is a 1st for me.

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