Sports Medicine/Sudden knee pain



A few days ago I started having sudden intense pain on my right knee area.  I would say it is right in between the knee cap and where the leg connect to be more specific or the part that feels like a rubber band in between the leg and knee cap.

The pain that I have been getting feels really sharp and almost feels like I have to hold on to my knee for the pain to go away.  It only happens when I am walking right and comes all of a sudden and just like that it goes away just as fast.

The interesting thing is that if I lift my leg off the ground and let it dangle it almost feels like that area in between the leg and knee cap is kind of floating if that makes any sense.  What could be the problem?

Hi Mark!

From your rather brief explanation of the right knee pain, it sounds like you might have stretched, or possibly the patella has misaligned itself within the patellae ligament, which connects the upper bone (Femur), runs directly over the patella, and attaches to the lower bone (Fibula). It is unusual that if any structures within the knee joint were torn, or in someway compromised, there would be consistent pain with weight-bearing and/or non-weight bearing activity.  The fact that it disappears as fast as it appears, tells me it is more a bio-mechanical situation within the patellae ligament.

If you desire further explanation or diagnosis, I would suggest seeing an orthopedist, but I don't feel this is a surgical problem.  It might be advantageous if you were to sit in a chair, extend your right leg straight out, and gently push the patella towards your feet, and then try pulling it towards the Femur. If you hear crackling, or it is painful, then the time to see the orthopedist would be appropriate.

Hopefully this will help you decide what to do with the laxity you are feeling in the knee.

Thank you for your question.

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Dr. Patricia B. Arthur, DC, MRC, CST


As a 30-year practicing Chiropractic Physician, my specialty was Sports Medicine. For 8 years I had the distinct pleasure of working with the USOC, and traveled the world to care for the athletes in the Pre-Olympic venues for the Summer Games. When I wasn't traveling, I had a private practice, and a hospital practice, in Kamuela, Hawai'i. Questions I couldn't answer usually dealt with pharmeceuticals. This was not my expertise, but the simple questions pertaining to familiar drugs I was able to digress, or refer to someone that was knowledgable in that field. Most Sports Medicine field injuries were familiar to me, but I always aired on the side of caution. In my office practice, I would tend to see more patients with the weekend injuries who would try to self-treat, only making the injury worse than it should have been! Nevertheless, I never took anything for granted, and so it was my conservative approach to the "cause-and-effect" mechanisms that were vitally important to the healing process.


Following my competitive nature, I knew Sports Medicine would always be a part of my life. After graduation from Palmer University in Iowa, the old adage taught at the school dealt only with the spinal column......anything connected to the spine was outside our scope of practice. To me, this was too simplistic, because the complex body also had arms and legs! From this point, I developed specific technigues which would encorporate the body as a whole rather than haphazard segments. There is nothing traumatic that happens to a single ligament, tendon or joint that doesn't effect a secondary, or possibly a tertiary element in that area. In order for that space to heal, all the factors must be addressed. Volunteering my time teaching referrees, coaches, and interested parents about the realities of probable sports injuries was worth a thousand words!j

American Chiropractic Association; Local Emergency Response Committee; Hazardous Materials Response Team; Urban Search and Rescue Team - Operations and Planning; Federal Corps of Engineers Committee; Earthquake Advisory Board; Big Island Wildfire Committee

Papers published focusing on the importance of proper care of sports injuries; Authored medical columns for the syndicated magazine "The People's Doctor "; Published papers in professional journals on Head Injuries in Sports; Published papers on Drug Abuse in Sports.

Robert Packer Hospital - Certified Surgical Technician - CST; Palmer University - Doctor of Chiropractic - D.C.; Wright State University - Masters in Counseling/Psychology; Wright State University - Masters In Couseling of the Severely Disabled.

Awards and Honors
Selected US Olympic Physician -1988; Graduated Wright State University with a 3.75 GPA; Graduated Palmer University with a 3.5 GPA; Faculty Appointment - Palmer University Post Graduate Education; Faculty Appointment- Hawai'i/Kapiolani Community College - Skills Team Tester;

Past/Present Clients
Cincinnati Bengals Football Team pre-season training; Summer Olympic Athletes worldwide; Kona Ironman Triathletes - Finish - line physician

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