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Pauline, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 8631
Experience:  Medical Doctor & Registered Pharmacist. Worked as Community pharmacist for 17 years.
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My knee started hurting while sleeping last night. Its very

Resolved Question:

My knee started hurting while sleeping last night. It's very painful to bend, but aches while doing nothing. it's very hot to the touch (on outer portion of knee), and slightly swollen (almost undetectable). but, not red. It exacerbates the pain to press on the outer portion of the knee. It usually goes away by the end of the day, only to return while sleeping. The duration is usually 2-3 days. I have experienced this a handful of times separated by 6 mo. to a year or more. it feels good (but also hurts) to occasionally stretch it. as if i'm getting more blood to my foot (not sure that that is what's happening, though.) What seems to separate this from most knee pain (via google) is that it's hot but not really swollen, and not red at all. and that it comes on at night. any ideas?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Pauline replied 7 years ago.

If the knee is painful and very warm to touch then you need to see a doctor to have an evaluation in person. The first thing to rule out is septic arthritis which is an infection in the joint. this can be very painful but if not treated then can lead to destruction of the joint.


Other possible causes of a single swollen knee include gout and arthritis. I would suggest examination, some blood test and even aspiration of the joint if there is palpable swelling.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Do you find it odd that I've experienced this a handful of times and it goes away after a few days? and ALWAYS comes on while I'm sleeping?
Expert:  Pauline replied 7 years ago.

If it is recurrent that this may possibly be gout, in terms of the night-time onset, that may be due to the fact that leg is immobile during the night and allow gout crystals to settle in the joint.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
...even though it's not red and *barely* swollen? Btw, i've made an appt with my doctor. Thank you!
Expert:  Pauline replied 7 years ago.

The fact that it is warm is enough to suggest an underlying inflammatory process. The other signs of redness and swelling may occur with time but as a young healthy adult then your body defenses may be more effective at 'mopping up' a problem before it takes hold.

During an exacerbation of pain and heat is when you need to get assessed, so if the appointment is not in the next 24-48 hours then you may need to consider urgent care.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Ok, last one. I just read that meat and dairy have a lot to do with gout. I've been a vegetarian for 16 years, but i recently cut out dairy a week ago. Do you have any thoughts on that?
Expert:  Pauline replied 7 years ago.

The actual cause is increased urate and this is related to purine metabolism. It is common in people with meat intake however it can be triggered by drugs and also some kidney problems. A sudden change in dairy may actually be the precipitant but we need to have the results of aspiration to be sure.


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