Knee Pain, bone on bone, can't straighten the knee

by Phyllis
(United Kingdom)

I have suffered knee pain for about 7 months now, it started as a dull ache and now is very painful across the back of the knee joint and down the back of my leg.

I was diagnosed with onset rheumatoid arthritis in 2000 but have had no pain as such with that so dont think it is that.

I used to go walking and have not had an accident to bring on this pain, I get sharp pain across my knee and up and down my leg if I jar it, which makes me nearly pass out its as if its bone against bone.

I have been to the doctor who has put me on co-codamol 30/500 4 times a day but they dont work I am using a stick and find it very difficult to walk. I can bend my knee but cannot straighten it.

I can also not kneel on it, sometime its feels as if my leg is going to give way under me.

Do you think that this ice dipping would work on my knee?


Joshua Answers:

Hi Phyllis. That sounds like some not fun pain...

Let's see what we can do.

The answer to your question is: Ice Dipping helps -everything-.

Yes it will help, because while you may or may not have Tendonitis, you absolutely have Process of Inflammation.

And, I
need more info to get a more clear picture of what you have going on.

1. How old are you?

2. Any previous knee injury or pain?

3. Overall health? Osteoporosis? Heart medications?

4. Describe the pain in the knee in more detail, and in more exact location.

5. Describe the pain behind the knee in more detail, and in more exact location.

6. What exactly do you mean when you say you can't straighten your knee.

7. Is it bone on bone? Or does it just feel that way. And where exactly does it feel like that. All the way through, just in one spot?

Let's start with those questions and go from there.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Sep 25, 2009
PART 2 - Knee Pain, bone on bone, can't straighten the knee
by: Phyllis

I am 58 years old, I have not had any injury to my knee.

A couple of years ago if I knelt down when I stood up it was like my knee twisted I had pain for a few days then it eased of, but I haven't had any other injury.

I have high blood pressure, I am on thyroxine for under active thyroid, I was on HRT for 15 years but my doctor took me of them he said I wouldn't get Osteoporsis as I was on the thyroxine. I have had an xray but was told it wasn't urgent enough to come in and see my doctor, my blood tests have come back ok.

The pain in my knee is like bone on bone with nothing in between to cushion it the pain is acute takes my breath away I feel faint and sick with it, if i accidently jerk the knee or straighten my leg the pain travels up and down the back on the right had side and across the knee joint itself its like a shooting pain and I have to wait until it recedes before I can continue to walk.

The pain behind my knee is like when I stand up I have to get myself into position before I can walk it's as if my knee is going to bend the other way out front instead of back as if there is nothing to support it if it goes forward to much then the pain shoot across knee joint between the two bones the only way I can describe it is bone on bone with nothing between them, if I kneel down and put pressure on my joint to get up sharp pain goes through the joint and travels down the right side of my leg, its like getting a shock catch your breath.

My knee gets too painful sometimes when I try to straighten my leg it seems to lock for a while until I can get it to straighten, just behind the right knee at the right side where the tendons are they don't want to straighten without the pain, it just feels like bone on bone all the way through.

Sep 25, 2009
PART 3 - Knee Pain, bone on bone, can't straighten the knee
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Ok Phyllis, you ready?

-If- you actually have bone on bone, you're screwed and knee replacement becomes a good option.

So the question is, is it bone on bone, or just feels like bone on bone?

You say you have Rheumatoid Arthritis. And thyroid issues.

It is incredibly likely and almost certain that you, my dear, are are experiencing the long term effects of having gluten intolerant/celiac disease.

And it's safe to say that you are Vitamin D deficient.

Within my realm of how-I-can-help-you, there's little I can offer you to help your pain. You don't have Tendonitis per se, and I really think that your pain and such is more from a systemic issue than a purely physical soft tissue issue.

What I can do is point you in the right direction to someone who can. has the information and answers that you are looking for.

Your doctors don't have any answers for or solution for Rheumatoid Arthritis or thyroid issues other than to prescribe pharmaceutical drugs that don't fix the problem.

Kerri is a long time ER/ICU nurse and Functional Medicine Practitioner. Functional Medicine can find you a solution to the RA and thyroid problems.

I think that that is the deeper source of your knee problem. If you don't deal with the systemic imbalances, the knee quite possibly -can't- get better.

I'll let Kerri and her website say more about that, but if I could have you read my thoughts and feelings, I would have you get my trust that there is a solution.

Kerri knows I'm pointing you to her, and if you want, I can transfer what you have posted here over to her site so you won't have to repeat yourself.

I a little bit feel like I'm abandoning you, but really, I don't have the answers you need, and I know Kerri does.

I'll be watching over her shoulder:)

Sep 27, 2009
PART 4- Referral
by: Anonymous

I would be happy for you to transfer me to Kerry, I have a sister who has been diagnosed with celiacs. I had a blood test for it but it came back ok.

I will try anything and thank you for your help.



Hi Phyllis.

As Kerri will tell you, tests for Celiac are notorious for telling you you don't have it when in fact you do.

And if your sister has it, that's a significant clue in determining that you do, as it runs not so much in a bloodline as it does in the family's geographical genetics.

Western European genetics, for instance, have a very high percentage of being gluten intolerant.

Keep your eyes out for Kerri in the next day or two.

And I have seen amazing results in people that work with her. People that the medical system just doesn't have any answers for. People like you.

There is hope. It will take some effort and small lifestyle changes, but it's totally doable.

The issue for you and your knees will be, after you change your system and reduce and reverse problems from a lifetime of being gluten intolerant, will be what the situation in your knees is. It's likely you will get to a pain free state. It's possible a certain amount of damage has been done, and the inside of the joint has been messed up so you'll still have some amount of pain.

But it's safe to say if you make no changes, this will continually get worse over time.

And I predict you will be amazed how much better you feel after a month or so with Kerri.

Talk to you soon. :)

Sep 30, 2009
PART 5 - Diet and Vitamin D
by: Kerri Knox, RN-The Immune Health Queen!

Hi Phyllis,

This is Kerri, as Joshua promised!

So, Phyllis. The fact that you have an autoimmune disease AND you have a sister with Celiac Disease SCREAMS out that you too have Celiac Disease- regardless of what your blood tests said. The tests results regularly tell people they don't have any celiac issues when, in fact, they do.

Try eliminating gluten completely for a few months and I'll bet that you really notice a big difference.

That's the first suggestion.

The second suggestion is that you get your Vitamin D Levels checked. Sufficient vitamin D has been shown to decrease cartilage loss in the knees over time and to decrease pain generally in some very surprising ways!

And make sure that your vitamin D level matches the normal ranges on my website page of Normal Vitamin D Levels making sure that you check the UNITS used because your units for measuring vitamin D are different that the ones here in the US.

Now, about the bone-on-bone sensation. You really will have to get that evaluated by a real doctor and get an X ray. If it truly is bone-on-bone, then I'm afraid neither of my suggestions will help in the short run- but in the LONG run, they definitely will!

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Health Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Easy Immune


Joshua Comments:

I've seen some amazing things happen when people go off gluten. And it makes a lot of sense when you start looking at the reasons why.

It may not sound like anything at first glance Phyllis, but for people like you with gluten intolerance, going off of gluten is a powerful health provider.

Sep 23, 2010
90+ years old with bone on bone knee pain
by: Anonymous

I've always been considered a healthy person,I don't take any prescription drugs, only vitamins and now Extra Strength Tylenol for pain in my knee caused by loss of cartilage and bone on bone scraping. I've been told that the after effects of knee replacement surgery at 90 years old are too great for me to risk surgery. Do you think there are any other options?


Joshua Comments:

Hey 90YearOldKnees.

Well, I probably agree with the "90 is too old for knee replacement surgery". It's pretty traumatic to the body....

Who knows, if you're spry enough it's amazing how effective/successful knee replacement is nowadays.

But, the conditions leading to your bad knees are likely the reasons to avoid surgery. Specifically, how strongly/quickly can you heal?

Here are some reasons why people lose knee cartiledge:

Vitamin D deficiency. There is plenty of research linking Vit D supplementation with knee cartiledge regrowth.

Magnesium insufficiency/deficiency. We need Vitamin D and Magnesium to utilize our Calcium. If you haven't had enough for decades (likely) then things go downhill extra fast.

Selenium insufficiency/deficiency

Not enough of the right minerals etc for cartiledge. See Bone Broth below.

Decades of leg muscles being too tight and compressing the joint.


So, can we fix your knees? Probably not.

Can we make them better? Quite possibly. Can we do that quickly....we can only try.

1. Use Vitamin D3 and get your level up between 50-80 ASAP.

2. Follow the dosage directions at the link at the bottom of the Magnesium for Tendonitis page.

3. I don't know much about Selenium, you're on your own there.

4. Start making Bone Broth and eating a lot of it on a daily basis.

5. Ideally we'd loosen up your leg structure, make the muscle and connective tissue soft and juicy, but not much I can do about that from here.

So that's the best way I know of to start. You just may find that covering the above bases makes you stronger/more vital and up to the trauma of replacement surgery. It can be a tough call.

There's a million things I could tell you to do, but let's start with the above (with Vit D Magnesium and the bone broth being the most important).

Oct 18, 2010
knee pain
by: gary

knee has swollen up and back of it his painful as well.cant straighten my knee,walk on it properly.and it his making my back hurt.

Oct 19, 2010



Joshua Comments:

Hi there. Are you the same person that just commented on the Tendonitis of the Jaw thread?

The ALL CAPS is a clue.

If so, you MUST NOW GO LEARN ABOUT Levaquin Tendonitis!

In general, if it's not Levaquin induced pain and problem, and this applies to the last poster Gary too, it could be a few things:

1. Muscles chronically too tight, connective tissue shrunk wrapped down, and now an acute Process of Inflammation has kicked in.

Ok, really, mostly that's it. There are other factors likely at play, including nutritional ones. HINT HINT Magnesium for Tendonitis

Granted, as in Gary's case, you may or may not have -actual- injury. You can still have swelling and such just from the nervous system kicking in an Inflammation process.

Movement compensation from that will certainly hurt the back, etc.

Jan 02, 2011
knee pain - Knee Pain, bone on bone, can't straighten the knee
by: alicia

i just turned 31, and ive had knee pain for a few years now.. i was in a car accident like 10yrs ago.. the pain was neva that bad so i neva looked into it, but i had pain in my knee cap and in the back of my knee and went to the doctors they did a mri and said i have sum kind of arthritis and a cyst in the back of my knee.. that was like a yr ago.. i live in MA so we get sum wicked crazy weather.. now i can barely walk on it at times.. the pain in shootin down my calf and my shin.. and alot of times i cant straighen it all the way.. is there anything i can do besides takin meds. cuz i know the meds aint gonna make my knee betta and im still young enough that i dont need to be gettin meds that ill have to take for the rest of my life.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Alicia.

Yes, there's lots that can be done.
I assume that you mean arthritis in the front of the knee and a cyst in back?

What are they doing re: the cyst?

Did they offer -anything- besides pharmaceutical drugs?

Did you have any actual damage to the knee in the accident? Or was it just impacted in the crash? Anything broken etc?

How's your overall health aside from the knee?

Oct 26, 2011
Knee pain and not being able to straighten it
by: Anonymous

I have not been able to straighten my leg for several years. I have muscle damage in my calf from Cymbalta. During a bone scan, the tech grabbed my legs and twisted. Since then I have had debilitating pain so bad I actually went into atrial fib. I don't have pain in the back of knee. It's on the kneecap and also inside.

I am not gluten intolerant and I don't have celiac. Been tested and biopsied. I can't have surgery due to pulmonary hypertension I got from Cymbalta. I have fibro.



Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.


1. Is your Vitamin D level between 50-80 ng/ml?
2. How much Magnesium do you take daily? And what kind of Magnesium.
3. Unfortunately, getting negative results on Celiac tests in no way means/assures that you aren't gluten intolerant or Celiac. Maybe you are, maybe you aren't. I'd need to know more about your situation.
4. You have fibromyalgia, so you're Magnesium deficient and it's a safe bet to say Vit D deficient.
5. What did the bone scan show?

Nov 24, 2011
Can bend, trouble straightening
by: Andrew

Hi, I'm Andrew aged 25. I used to be active in sports (running and cycling once a week) but I've stopped for about 2 mths now.

I've not been injured by those activities but few days back i just bent my left knee and when i tried to straighten it hurts alot. I have to slowly take my time and let it rest awhile before i can straighten it out again. It doesnt hurt when i'm walking, i haven't and dare not try running after this. I tried bending and straightening a few times and once or twice it sort of popped back without much pain.

The pain resides just below the knee cap when i tried straightening after bending it fully. When I bend it fully I can feel abit of stress in that area too.

Please advise.



Joshua Comments:

Hi Andrew.

Describe 'sort of popped back'.

Feb 27, 2012
pain after squatting
by: david

the only time i have pain is after i squat for a while. when i stand up i have pain in the back of my leg behined the knee. im 43 with no knee injurys or heath problems. my leg is fine any other time and once i get it straight back out is is fine until the next squat.


Joshua Comments:

How's your squatting technique?

May 26, 2012
Pain after kneeling after dislocating knee cap
by: Anonymous

A few months ago I dislocated my kneecap but I have been going to physiotherapy to get it all back into shape again. Today I knelt down to pick up a book and when I got up I felt pain in the back of the same leg when I tried to straighten it. It is now still sore to straighten and walk on. Can you please tell me if you know what this is? Thank you.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonyknee.

If you actually dislocated your knee cap, then chances are you stretched the connective tissue that holds it where it's supposed to be.

So it's pretty safe to assume, if that's the case, that you need to:

A. Be aware that your kneed cap isn't held as firmly as it used to be by the connective tissue structure and

B. You need to make extra effort to make sure your legs are strong and flexible so they can help do the work that the connective tissue binding used to do.

Ask your PT how to stabilize the knee/knee cap when you move, and then get strong at that.

Something like Prolotherapy -may- be able to tighten the stretched connective tissue back tighter.

Oct 05, 2015
scraping for bone on bone pain
by: carson

Can you have your knees scraped to relieve bone on bone pain?


Joshua Comments:

You can have your knees scraped.

Results depend on what exactly is going on in there.

If there is a lot of torn up joint lining in there, that may or may not be helpful, and it entirely ignores the cause of the knee pain/damage/degeneration.

Give me more details of your situation.

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