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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Why does my knee keep giving out?

    Related Topic
    My right knee has been giving out at least 7-8 times a day for the past couple of days. It happens when I am simply standing or walking at random times. It comes with a sharp pain in that knee. I have never had knee problems so I am unsure of why this is happening.
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  • 1

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    20

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    Brian Lee

    Physiotherapist

    I graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2004 and have worked in various healthcare settings, including primary care, private practice and community health services, … View Profile

    'Giving out' can really mean different things by different patients. Some would use 'giving out' to describe flipping sound +/- pain in the knee (this is more to do with muscles and their interaction with bones); some would use this term to describe more arthritic symptoms (that's more the joint, ie PFJ, TFJ). Most symptoms of this nature can be of insidious onset, may the cause be arthritis, muscle imbalance, or something else. Your case will require proper assessment from either your GP or a physio.

  • 8

    Thanks

    Dr David Agolley

    Orthopaedic Surgeon

    Dr David Agolley is an Australian trained Orthopaedic Surgeon, with specialist expertise in hip and knee surgery. Special interests are robotic and computer assisted hip … View Profile

    A knee that keeps 'giving out' could be a sign of a few things.

    Common causes include loose cartilage or bone floating around the knee joint, an unstable meniscus tear, a ligament tear such as an ACL rupture, an unstable knee cap, weak muscles and the list goes on.

    If your knee is giving out 7-8 times a day, it must be very disconcerting to you where you probably do not have much confidence in your knee. This then limits your ability to walk, work and play sport.

    I recommend that you see your GP, arrange some basic weight bearing xrays of your knee, and if indicated an MRI scan. With an accurate history and examination, your diagnosis will be made, and the scans will help detail the diagnosis. I would recommend you ask for a referral to an orthopaedic surgeon with a special interest in knees. You may not need an operation, but a good orthopaedic surgeon will guide you through both a non-surgical treatment which may include physiotherapy and observation, and if necessary a surgical treatment.

    Good luck.

  • 8

    Thanks

    Dr Siva Chandrasekaran

    Orthopaedic Surgeon

    Giving way of the knee can be a very debilitating symptom that can make it difficult to participate in sports and day to day activities.

    There can be several causes that may relate to damaged structures within the knee such as cartilage or ligaments, or to muscular imbalances.

    I would suggest that you see your local doctor who can often diagnose the cause of your instability with examination and xrays including MRI and referral to either physiotherapy or surgery depending on the cause and treatment received so far.

    All the best!!

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