Early 30s, swollen knees, no-one knows what's wrogn with me

niknaknoodles
niknaknoodles Member, NewlyRegistered Posts: 2
The doctors/physios don't know what's wrong with me, so I thought I'd put my story out there an see if anyone has had or heard of anything similar...

I am early 30s, average weight/slim, moderately active, and otherwise healthy.

For the past 12-18 months I have had recurrent knee swelling in both knees. They flare up and gradually subside over a few months. There is some pain associated with it but not a lot. Photo shows the swelling at its worst. When it was this swollen I had trouble walking and moving around due to restricted movement.

smd548.jpg

I have seen GPs and a physio specialist. I tested Sero negative for RA factor. Blood tests normal. X-ray of knees shows mild OA, but not enough to explain swelling symptoms. No-one knows what the problem is. Although the physio thought the problem was at the patello-femoral joint.

Family history: Both grandparents had OA associated with old age. My father has Multiple Sclerosis. My Grandmother had haemochromatosis.

I have experienced pain on and off in my knees since my early 20s, and have experienced pain and difficulty squatting, and pain sometimes when I can’t stretch out my legs for a period of time. I have very crunchy crepititis in both knees.

I was hoping it could just be recurrent bursitis, but I never kneel on my knees (it’s too uncomfortable, and I can't get down that low!). I don’t do any activities which are usually associated with bursitis injuries.

So I’m hoping it’s nothing systemic or auto-immune. All my other joints are OK. My hands and feet joints are fine.

Thanks for reading this. Any thoughts would be really appreciated.

Comments

  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,082
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Welcome to Arthritis Care Forums, Niknaknoodles , from the moderation team.

    As moderators we are here to help with any issues you may have using the message boards so feel free to send us a message if you need to.

    I look forward to seeing you posting on the boards.

    Best wishes

    Ellen

    PS your photo isn't showing. Not sure why, but many of our members use hosting sites for images.
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,091
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Niknaknoodles,

    I’m sorry to read that you have been living with knee pain for the past year and a half and don’t yet have clear information on the cause.

    Here on the Arthritis Care Helplines we are not medically trained, so can’t offer any diagnoses. We hope to offer information on next steps, and – if it would help to talk - emotional support and a listening ear.

    It sounds as if you have consulted all the health professionals we would usually suggest, and had the tests that are used to confirm (or at least indicate) different types of arthritis.

    Unfortunately, some types of arthritis can be difficult and time-consuming to diagnose – in particular the auto-immune types that do not test positive for antibodies in the blood. However, I note that your physiotherapist thinks that your pain could be due to a different reason, a problem with your patello-femoral joint. There is also the issue that sometimes people feel higher pain levels than expected from mild osteoarthritis, just as other people feel lower levels than expected from severe osteoarthritis.

    You have already been proactive in trying to find out what’s wrong and perhaps the only thing to do for now is continue with that approach – keeping your GP and physio informed of the situation, so that they can monitor your situation. It may be that the pain reduces over time but if not your GP can refer you to the relevant hospital department for more specialist input.

    I am sorry not to be able to give a clear answer but I hope this response has been helpful.

    Best wishes,

    Rachael, Helplines Worker
  • swollenjointsi
    swollenjointsi Member, NewlyRegistered Posts: 2
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello
    I think I may be able to help I have a rare form called palindromic rheumatism . This is an auto immune disorder which causes the immune system to attack the lining of my joints causing pain and swelling . It is rare, so difficult to get a diagnosis . It does not show in x-rays or blood test . Arthritis research uk did a study into it in 2013, this is available on-line , which is well worth a read . Hope I have been of some help . GOODLUCK !
  • UnknownD
    UnknownD Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I Seem to be struggling with something similar...
    not sure what it is though .
    My knees swell up at night only and become red .
    My feet lately too.
    Though I have felt this way a tad longer than you and I also feel pain in my wrists and ankles .
    I have also been tested all sero - negative.
    Only thing they found was vitamin D deficiency .
    No cure and no answers yet.
  • UnknownD
    UnknownD Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello
    I think I may be able to help I have a rare form called palindromic rheumatism . This is an auto immune disorder which causes the immune system to attack the lining of my joints causing pain and swelling . It is rare, so difficult to get a diagnosis . It does not show in x-rays or blood test . Arthritis research uk did a study into it in 2013, this is available on-line , which is well worth a read . Hope I have been of some help . GOODLUCK !
    How were you diagnosed??
    What are your actual symptoms ?
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,091
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi UnknownD,

    Unfortunately many types of arthritis are tough to diagnose – one type can be mistaken for another, or even for a health condition that isn’t arthritis.

    If it would help to talk over how you are feeling during this time, I hope you will call the Arthritis Care Helplines (9.30am – 5pm, Monday – Friday). You might also find it useful to read our booklet, ‘Understanding arthritis’, which gives an overview of the different types of arthritis: https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/do-i-have-arthritis/publications/299-understanding-arthritis.

    While there is no cure for arthritis, there are ways of treating and managing these conditions that can improve your quality of life. As you spend time on this forum you will see from many forum members how it is possible to live a full life with these conditions, despite the challenges they bring.

    With best wishes,
    Rachael, Helplines Worker
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