How to Know If You Have a Serious Knee Injury or Problem

This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in December of 2020. For the original video go to

Bob: Today, Brad, we're going to talk about how to know if you have a serious knee injury or problem. Now this could be after an injury or it could be just over time.

Brad: Right, right. The aging process, which we know about, unfortunately.

Bob: Right, we're well aware of. So let's go with number one, Brad, you see, you can't even bear weight on the leg. That's not a good sign.

Brad: Right. Most people are going to figure that out, but there are some people, particularly some guys that may try to tough it out. It's like, “it's just a flesh wound. No big deal.”

Bob: Right.

Brad: Well, you might make it worse.

Bob: That's an old saying, it's like flesh wound. Number two, it's really swollen. We're not talking about a little swollen around the kneecap or something like that. I mean, it really swelled up.

Brad: It starts to look like a balloon, so to speak.

Bob: Right. There you may have a ligament injury or the patella maybe slid out of place. Number three, you see an obvious deformity. Now this is one I think people would probably go in, if they see the knee's kind of off.

Brad: Yeah, say your knee cap is over on the side.

Bob: Right, or your bone is kind of hooked off to the side.

Brad: Yeah, so pay attention to that.

Bob: That's pretty obvious. Okay, number four, it feels like the knee buckles or gives way. Like a lot of times it may even feel like the shin bone is shifting. Like we have with an ACL injury.

Brad: Or you have that thing where you’re walking and it just buckles. It's like, "What happened?” You know it just gives out.

Bob: Right, exactly, the knee buckles. So number five, excessive bruising. You might have a quadriceps or hamstring tear down near the knee.

Brad: Particularly if there's not an obvious reason, like you fell on the ice. That's one thing, but you know, you may strain a muscle and actually get some of that ecchymosis, or that bruising color from muscle being torn.

Bob: Just generally as a rule of thumb, the more ecchymosis or black and blue that you see, usually the worse the injury was.

Brad: Sure.

Bob: Because you tore a lot of blood vessels. All right. Number six, you can't flatten the knee. You can't straighten it all the way out. It feels blocked.

Brad: Yeah. It won't go down like it's supposed to, and it always used to. Oftentimes there may be pain associated with straightening the knee.

Bob: Right. Sometimes it's swelling, but sometimes it could be your cartilage got tore and flipped a little bit.

Brad: Yep, your meniscus injury.

Bob: And it's blocking the movement. Number seven, you can't bend the knee. It would be the same thing. It could be cartilage, but you can compare your two knees. You can bend your one knee.

Brad: One goes way up here, but the other one's stuck. Usually there is pain associated at the end range with both of those. Typical with a meniscus problem.

Bob: Number eight, your knee gets stuck, or it kind of catches, when you're walking.

Brad: Locks up.

Bob: Number nine, you have pain in addition to redness and swelling in your knee. So this, we're worried about infection. So you have pain, but you have redness and swelling.

Brad: Particularly if you've had a knee replacement, and there's no reason for it.

Bob: Right, this happened with my mother-in-law. She went into the clinic three times before they diagnosed it.

Brad: Really?

Bob: NO, to a hospital three times, and they didn't even diagnose it there. They diagnosed it at another hospital and they diagnosed it within like 10 seconds.

Brad: Oh, yeah.

Bob: So I don't know. All right. Number 10, final one, the pain is just not getting better, or it's getting worse.

Brad: So that constant ache that goes on for, you know, two or three weeks, and there's nothing that obviously makes it worse or better. And it's just hanging on there.

Bob: And especially like night pain. You always want to get things like that checked out. Short one, Brad. I this may be a record for us.

Brad: We could keep babbling for a while, see what happens.

Bob: No, we'll stop for once. Remember Brad and I can fix just about anything-

Brad: Except for-

Bob: A broken heart

Brad: But, we're working on it.

Bob: All right.

Brad: Absolutely, we continue to persevere.

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