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Dr. Amit
Dr. Amit, Doctor
Category: Health
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Experience:  MBBS, Licenced Medical Practitioner & Online Health Advisor & Writer
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Hi...Im an avid tennis player who plays almost exclusively

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Hi...I'm an avid tennis player who plays almost exclusively on hard courts. For a few months, on and off, I've been feeling pain on the inside of my left knee. It seems like the pain is in the joint, rather than the surrounding cartelidge. I tried wearing this tan-colored brace that slips on like a sleeve, and it only made the pain worse.
I don't have insurance right now, so I don't have the luxury of going to the famed Jobe-Kerlan Clinic, or having an MRI any 'ol time I feel like it.
I've heard that glucosimine helps, but I've also heard you have to take it for several months before seeing any results. Seems like I'd be just as well off taking ibuprofen.
Even though I'm "only" 50, could this be, dare I say it, a bit of arthritis ?

Hello and Welcome

This is Dr Amit and i am here to help you.

Well reading your history and details, yes it can be arthritic pain.
People anything above 30-35yrs of age, are prone to develop the same , depending upon their lifestyle and joint wear and tear involved with normal life activities.

As you have mentioned pain goes off and on, from few months ( i take it more than say 3-4), there is unlikely cause of any acute inflammation in there, say any ligamental or meniscal involvement, still persisting (after icing, pain medication (local and topical))
I take it that you took rest also for sports etc during that period.

BUT there can be other causes to knee pain in your case too.
Given the fact that you have mentioned sports esp. tennis, there are chances that meniscus(a pad of cartilage between 2 knee bones) can be involved(meniscal tear etc) . Soccer players are also very affected due to same abrupt movements of knee. Of course it has to be a minor else you must be feeling a lot of other symptoms . But meniscal pain can persist for long in absence of therapy/surgery.

Other possible causes can be
- Minor ligament involvement (Off and On; in absence of proper rest and therapy)
- Chondromalacia of patella (softening of patellar cartilage esp underside of it) - very possible given the sporty lifestyle you have.
- Gouty pain (should be accompanied with joint inflammation, etc). You gotta get your renal function tests done (esp creatinine and uric acid)
- pseudogout

You need to get a consulation from ortho doc so that he can do physical tests on you to evaluate pain, ligaments, menisci, etc and advise blood work, X-Ray, etc
Further in case of Meniscal/ other cartilage involvement MRI is the valid option (i know its costly but health is supreme, if pain persists)

Regarding Glucosamine and other allied supplements, there is no consensus on whether they work or not. There are studies in both favour and those labeling it as placebo. There is still a lot of research going on, on its usage.
Also be advised that glucosamine action (if any) gets in after some 3-4 months of continued intake.

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