Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Orthopedics Forum

Ligament/ Joint pain and weakness(16 years old).

I've been having this problem since June this year and have been taking various kinds of medicines but they do not seem to work at all. It is around and inner side of my knee cap. My hair is also falling and graying too. My fat deposition is weird too, mostly around my belly and thighs. My rest of body is super skinny. I have been doing push up and other resistance exercises for a year but I have not gained any strength. I used to be very fat but I got Typhoid, Dengue and decreased platelet count and I lost near about half of my weight. I have had measles every year until I was 10.
I'm taking these medicines currently
1. Calcium Citrate Malate, Vit D3 and folic acid tablet
2. KeyCal tablet
Thanks in advance
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First Helper User Profile Gaelic
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replied November 7th, 2012
Especially eHealthy
SMaheton,

When someone loses half of his/her body weight, especially in the "formative years", that is a very significant hit to the body.

It is understandable that you have not regained a whole lot of muscle mass. Your body has just been recovering from the illness it has had to fight off. Once you are back to a steady state in terms of metabolism, then you can probably start to bulk up some. But, at sixteen, you are also still growing, so a significant amount of your nutrients and calories are going into the growth aspect.

If you are concerned about your overall health status, you need to see your physician for an evaluation and a set of baseline labs. You would probably also benefit from a consultation with a certified dietician.


As to the knee pain, pain around and under the patella is very common, especially in adolescents and young adults. It is most commonly due to patellofemoral syndrome(PFS), in the absence of any trauma to the knee.

PFS is known by several names - anterior knee pain, retropatellar pain syndrome, and chondromalacia. But, they all have the same basic symptoms: pain around and/or under the patella; the pain is increased with going down stairs, ladders, doing squats, or using the knee extension station on the weight machine; pain is often brought on by sitting with the knees bent for a period of time, such as sitting in a movie, lecture, long car ride; there may be some slight swelling under the patellar tendon (called Hoffa's sign), and the patient may have some benign crepitus (the popping, snapping, crackling etc sounds made by the joint).


Again, PFS is very common. But, it is known that in most cases it is self limiting (it will go away on its own). It does not cause any future knee problems (like arthritis).

There are some things that can be done to help the PFS. Do not sit with the knees bent for long periods, stretch the legs out every 10 minutes or so. Do not do squats or use the knee extension station. However, the quads have to be kept very strong (especially the VMO) and the hamstrings must be stretched.

Some patients feel that a neoprene knee sleeve makes them more comfortable. But, there is no need for any bulky, expensive ligament injury sports brace. Some patients find that NSAIDs or tylenol will help with the discomfort (it will not take all of the discomfort away). The use of ice before and after activities will usually help.


If the above do not help significantly, then you will need to have the knee examined by an orthopedic surgeon.


Good luck.
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replied November 7th, 2012
Thank you Gaelic. I think it might be due to long term sitting on chair during school hours and then tuition. I have to sit almost 11 hours a day with legs hanging.
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replied November 8th, 2012
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SMahetons,

Even if you cannot stand up, stretch out your legs a few times, at least two or three times an hour. If you notice that your knees are starting to ache, move them.

The only way for the cartilage on the under side of the patella can gets any nutrients is through the synovial fluid (joint fluid). When you sit with your knees flexed, the patella sits against the femur, so on joint fluid can bath the cartilage. So, the cartilage will "dry out" some and get "thirsty". When this happens, it will start to hurt. So, by moving the joint, the joint fluid will move over all of the cartilage surfaces.


When you get a chance, do work on weight training and rebuilding your muscles. It will take a lot of hard work and effort, but it will eventually pay off.


Good luck. Hope you are feeling better soon.
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replied November 10th, 2012
Gaelic,
thanks for your help. I think the same thing has happened. My cartilages have dried out. Is there any way to treat them?
Thanks again
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replied November 10th, 2012
Especially eHealthy
SMaheton,

Movement is the best way to get the joint fluid moving over the cartilage surfaces.

Unfortunately, there is no really good way to rebuild or even treat cartilage problems. Hyaline cartilage, the glistening white slippery surface on the ends of the bone, which allow the joints to slide easily, does not have any blood vessels in it. It cannot regenerate, which is why it is important to protect what you have.

There are some supplements out there, for "joint health", which have shown some promise in helping with cartilage problems.

These contain the proteins needed by the cartilage: chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid, and glucosamine. There are several preparations available, some come in pill form and other are in a drink. You might get some of these and give them a try. It usually takes a couple of months for them to really work well, so do not give up on them too soon. Some patients have found that they work very well.

Good luck.
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