What's In A Knee...

That's the saying, right?  No?  Well, that's been my saying as of late.  What's in my knee, to be more exact.

I want to start by apologizing for being so mysterious about my knee issues of late.  It was in no way intentional, I just figured it might be a bit boring to post about.  But as several people have asked me lately, I thought I would do a quick update on the details (or lack thereof).

About a year ago I began having pretty severe pain behind my right knee.  It wasn't unbearable, it mostly hurt when I tried to fully bend or extend my leg.  I didn't think into it too much, as I hadn't had any sort of obvious injury.  A few months later, it began to get worse, and one day, as I was standing up from our kitchen table, I felt some intense movement (though not painful) in my knee.  I looked down to find it immediately swelled up on the front of my knee.  

So off to the doctor I went, where she told me I had a bakers cyst that ruptured.  

A Baker's cyst, also called a popliteal (pop-LIT-e-ul) cyst, is usually the result of a problem with your knee joint, such as arthritis or a cartilage tear. Both conditions can cause your knee to produce too much fluid, which can lead to a Baker's cyst.

I asked if I should limit physical activity, upon which my (incompetent) doctor told me no.  Once the swelling went down, I could return to whatever physical activities I wished.  Wrong.

A few more months went by and I was cautious with my knee and activity, but by no means did I stop exercising.  In October, I began to feel the tightness and pain behind my knee again.  It continued to get worse and worse, and the night we returned from visiting family in Washington, the same thing happened: the cyst burst.  

{ courtesy of good old WebMD }

By this point (nearly 11 months!), I was losing my patience, so I scheduled an appointment with another primary care doctor to get her take on the situation.  She seemed concerned that there was no obvious injury and that I was a bit young to be experiencing a recurring cyst typical of older, arthritic patients.  So she referred me to an orthopedist.

One X-Ray and one MRI later, he sees a few questionable things in my knee (3 bakers cysts!), but nothing that clearly says, THIS is the issue, let's fix it.  So after a very critical review of my MRI, he has referred me to a rheumatologist to rule out any type of systemic autoimmune diseases, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus.

Other than the obvious impatience to just figure out what is going on with my knee, I have handled this whole process fairly well.  But this latest referral to the rheumatologist has gotten under my skin a bit.  I am fairly certain that it is none of these things (though this is a completely uneducated guess), but the potential that it is something chronic like this has me quite nervous.  

I lead a fairly active lifestyle, and have been going crazy the past few months having to just sit around and get no physical exercise.  I can't imagine incorporating a chronic diagnosis into the type of lifestyle I am used to living.  

I understand that I am getting ahead of myself here. I do.  But as "cool" as I try to remain about it, I am extremely anxious to rule this out, and even more eager to actually figure out the cause of this pain, fluid and swelling.

The top doc that he referred me to is super in-demand, so I opted for a different doctor in the same office in order to get in a bit sooner.  So now the waiting game.  I am pretty confident that the next week is going to crawl by.

Apologies to anyone who is not interested in the inner workings of my knee, I just wanted to inform those who have been asking about my brief references to the trouble in previous posts.

Fingers crossed that next Wednesday comes quickly and brings good news!