Does anybody have any idea what could be wrong with my leg?

About 5 years ago I sustained an injury to my right leg that left me unable to walk for roughly 2 months. Whenever I put weight on it, it would collapse on me. I injured it by vaulting over a fence whilst wearing a heavy back pack, landed on the side of my foot and it twisted around.
At the time, I went immediately to A&E and it was x-rayed. Apparently that showed that there was nothing wrong with it. I was told to rest and slowly begin to bear weight on it until it got stronger - that the problem was likely a torn hamstring.

It got better. But ever since then I’ve been having problems with it. If I land on it at an angle it will temporarily collapse on me. Sometimes, say if I walk backwards it will do the same thing. Occasionally when I begin running it will also collapse. I have been to two different doctors and neither have helped. One gave me anti-inflammatory drugs, which did nothing.

When it collapses now, it doesn’t last for long. There is very little pain, though I sometimes cry out in shock, simply because I’m not expecting my leg to suddenly go. I can walk on it fine afterwards, though it does feel a bit tender for a while.

The sensation when it does collapse is like the joint is coming out of its socket just below my knee. From my perspective it actually feels like it comes out then goes back in again, but I have no idea if that’s possible, and both doctors said that’s not what’s happening.

Should I demand another x-ray? Ask to see a specialist? Or is there something more simple I’m over looking? It’s not like it’s a real problem, it doesn’t leave me unable to walk afterwards anymore - though it does mean I avoid playing sports and I’m a bit more cautious about doing the fun things in life, like climbing trees and leaping over canals. :smiley:

IMO, you need to be examined – thoroughly – by a joint specialist (I forget the technical term for this specialty). It sounds to me like their attitude was “no broken bones --> sprain only --> will heal naturally without medical intervention” when you did some connective-tissue or neurological damage.

I am not a doctor. Get thee to an orthopedic doctor. X-rays do not show torn ligaments or tendons. A good orthopedists can get a very good idea of what is wrong with a knee by manipulating it, to see the range in various directions. Although, they like to get MRIs these days.

Sounds to me like you probably tore some ligament(s) and/or cartilage in your knee. Common injury when lateral stress is put on the joint. In full classic form, such a “blown knee” can be career ending for athletes (although there’s probably amazing treatments now that I’m not familiar with). You must not have had too severe an injury, or you’d’ve known it, but enough of an injuy to chronically destablize the joint. You could get it checked out. I’d guess that’d involve an MRI, possibly arthroscopy. Then, I’m supposing again, they’d probably say you could get it surgically repaired or wear a knee brace. Since it doesn’t seem to cause too much debility, they’d probably recommend the knee brace. So you could save some money and time and just go get one now, wear it, and see if it helps.

It sounds like you are pinching a nerve at certain angles of movement. That causes the leg to give out completely. Often this is the sciatic nerve anywhere from the ankle to the hip. When you fell, you changed something that now allows this nerve to get pinched. It won’t show up on X-rays or MRI’s. The Internet offers and abundance of stretches for the sciatic nerve. I have found all of them useless. My best suggestion is to try a hard orthotic insert from the running store. Spenco makes them and they sell for about $25. It can’t hurt anything. That extra support under the arch can alter the position of the sciatic nerve and prevent falling. Worth a try.

Where was your leg injured?

Repairs of torn ACL and MCL have been somewhat routine for almost fifteen years. Some players tear both at once and make a full recovery. Willis McGahee tore his ACL, MCL and PCL during the 2003 NFL Fiesta Bowl, and recovered well enough to play for the Bills in 2004. There are dozens of other examples in the NFL, NBA, and NHL.

Since this is a real-life case, I’m moving it to IMHO.

samclem, Moderator General Questions