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Toronto, AL M5N 2M7
Ph: 416-483-2654
Fax: 416-483-2654

Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I have a quick question for you. I'm 62-years-old and in fairly good shape. I visit the gym three times a week for weight training and I'm active in tennis, golf, and gardening. Last week as I was kneeling in the garden (or squatting, I can't remember which), when I started to stand up again I felt a ping in my left knee. It didn't hurt until later but now it's swollen and tender. What could be wrong?

There are several soft tissue structures in the knee that can cause pain and swelling with minor trauma in someone over the age of 50. The type of symptoms you describe could come from a ligamentous strain or meniscal tear. Only an evaluation with a medical doctor will give you an accurate diagnosis. And that would be important because early treatment is usually the best way to achieve optimal outcomes. We can tell you that the history given for meniscal tears in older adults is often described just as you put it. Something that seems as minor as a kneeling or a squatting position puts enough force and load on the aging cartilage that it tears more easily than in a younger adult. Tears in the meniscus in patients under 30 years old usually occur as a result of a fairly forceful twisting injury. In the younger age group, meniscal tears are more likely to be caused by a sport activity. Symptoms of knee aching, tenderness, swelling, and/or sensation of the knee locking are other common reports associated with meniscal tears in all age groups. You'll need an examination and possible some imaging studies to know for sure. Sometimes the surgeon will recommend an arthroscopic examination to confirm the diagnosis.


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