ZocdocAnswersMy knee locks and It buckles walk. It is very painful, what could this be?

Question

My knee locks and It buckles walk. It is very painful, what could this be?

I am not active and do not remember ever injuring it. To unlock my knee I need help because it's so painful. It buckles while I walk.

Answer

I am sorry to hear about your knee issues. It sounds like they are having a significant impact on your quality of life. In order to provide an accurate diagnosis, you will need a doctor to review your medical history and perform a thorough physical exam. Therefore, I recommend you schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. After a thorough, in-person evaluation, this doctor will be able to provide a diagnosis and make recommendations on treatment. Knee pain with joint locking and instability can be caused by a variety of conditions. It will be important to rule out osteoarthritis. This occurs due to joint degeneration over time, often precipitated by prior injury to the joint. Essentially, the cartilage that cushions the joint can no longer do its job, and the bones within the joint grind against each other. This causes abnormalities of the joint surfaces themselves. Treatment usually consists of pain medications or, in cases where this is not successful, joint replacement. Other possible causes of your pain include meniscus tear, damage to the ligaments that stabilize the joint, such as the ACL, MCL, or PCl, or bursitis. You will need to see an orthopedic surgeon to determine the specific cause of your symptoms.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.