Why Is This Here?

About The Kneelock Site

4 Oct , 2014  

A few years ago, I found a knee lock conversation on the bettermednicine.com forum. I added my own story to the over 200 other stories from knee lock sufferers. Apparently, my story resonated with many of the participants as I began to receive private e-mail from literally dozens of people, with most of them saying “you described my symptoms perfectly.” These random people were seeking additional information, more insight, recent knee lock studies, and frankly just wanted to talk and empathize with someone who seemed to “get it.”


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Apparently, bettermedicine.com forums were recently purchased by HealthGrades.com, and the entire conversation was deleted. Vanished. Very, very sad that years of rich medical conversation was simply erased. It’s really mind-boggling that a company would buy a valuable community asset, and then destroy it. I’m a computer industry entrepreneur. I know that when you buy an Internet property, you are usually buying “eyeballs.” To destroy years of invaluable community discussion is not just a poor business decision, but (in this case) a breach of public trust.


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Anyway, that’s why I created this site. I’m passionate about helping people who suffer from knee lock, and (as I’ve learned), there are a LOT of people who suffer from knee lock. Moreover, there is a crazy amount of truly bad knee lock “medical information” floating around the Internet. As I’ve studied knee lock over the years, I believe to have pieced together a fairly accurate picture of the causes and possible cures for knee lock, and this picture looks surprisingly different than “for profit” knee lock resources on the Internet.

Please read “My Story” and then share your experience. To comment, be sure to click on the title of the post.

– John L


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16 Responses

  1. Ian says:

    Your story sounds very familiar. What’s your method for getting it unlocked?

    • admin says:

      Ian, if I’m in a chair with arms, I’ll put all my body-weight on my arms and push myself up very slowly, allowing the leg to start hanging / straightening via gravity. The lock pain increases greatly as this happens, but it seems that gravity pulling / straightening the leg downward is the ideal force and direction for allowing the fibular head to re-seat as gently and naturally as possible.

      If I’m not in a place where I can do this maneuver, I’ll manually work the fibular head area with my fingers and attempt to move the head back into the socket. Sometimes that works, sometimes not. If I’m lying down, and get a lock, often just waiting and gently jostling the knee area causes the head to move back into joint after 30-60 minutes. It’s obvious when this happens as the fibular head moving back into joint causes a big “thunk” noise and physical sensation.

      After a knee lock episode, the entire area can be sore for a few days. One trick is to be mindful of situations / leg positions that could cause the lock, and consciously avoid them.

      • Russell says:

        Hey! I’ve had exactly the problem described on this site since I was a small child. I have a painless and quick method of putting it back in place.
        I stand up with my locked knee at a right angle. I then bend at the hips like I’m trying to touch my toes. Somehow this pulls along the chain of muscles in the backs of my legs and allows the knee to straighten without any difficulty. Everything feels a little loose for a while, but there’s no excess pain or discomfort involved.
        It should be noted that I have a fairly inflexible lower back and glutes so some may have to stretch a lot more than I do.

        • admin says:

          Russell, thanks for that. When you “stand up with knee at right angle” doesn’t this cause extreme pain due to gravity force pulling on the locked knee? Or do you hold your locked leg during the standing and bending procedure, gently releasing the locked leg as you bend?

          • Russell says:

            I don’t really have to hold it with my arms or anything. I just keep it at a right angle with the muscles in my leg as if I was bending it regularly. As long as I’m not trying to straighten it or bend it further back I don’t have any issues. Mine locks at pretty much exactly a 90 degree angle. Just imagine standing straight up, but with your knee bent so that your foot is pointing straight out behind you.

            If I recall correctly, I stand straight with my knee at that right angle. I bend forward as if to touch my toes and relax the muscles holding the knee at a right angle. I can feel the knee unlock and the bone fall back into place. There’s no real discomfort other than the strange loose feeling as long as I don’t try to forcibly straighten or fold the knee more.

          • Russell says:

            My best theory as to why it happens is very similar to yours. It’s been quite a while since it’s happened so my description might not be quite right, but I think I have a loose lateral colateral ligament that lets the fibula move in front of the tibia. Straightening or bending the leg would forcibly stretch the ligament further. By bending forward and pulling the chain of muscles along the back of my leg I pull the fibula back out and into place.

  2. Dear John:

    Thank you so much for publishing your personal experience about “knee lock”. You are exactly describing what happened to me!. I had the same problem since I was 18-20 years old. When I visited my doctor at that time, I couldn’t find any “successful” solution for that lock.

    Later on, nowadays when I reached 50 years, I have a very bad “knee-lock” that occurred after sever flexion of the knee. The “knee-lock” recurred 3 times in about 10 days. All I did, is just to press and release the joint very gently.
    As you exactly asked for professional medical advice, the doctor said that I have problem with the meniscus, and asked me to perform an “MRI” study for my knee. However, The MRI was completely normal !.

    At that moment I found your website that helped me enough to understand what’s going on, especially about the instability of the tibiofibular joint.
    Please keep me informed if you have any additional information.

    Sincerely yours

  3. Thank you publishing your website. I found it solved the ‘mystery’ of my locking knee. My ortho doc recommended a meniscusectomy which I declined.
    Have you come across any information on knee braces that may stabilize the TF joint?

    • admin says:

      BJS, I don’t know of any braces specifically designed for the fibular joint, but perhaps a regular knee brace would help limit the lateral movement that often leads to a TF displacement? One thing I’ve found that helps reduce the incidence of TF knee lock is weekly “high intensity” leg exercises, including leg presses, calf raise, and leg curl. My theory is that it strengthens the muscles around the TF joint area, giving more support. Takes just a few minutes a week. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjGL8Rwkqug

  4. VARGA says:

    I have had knee locking all my life. It is usually associated with a sideward knee motion or a leg cross. I have found that when the knee locks, a slight panic ensues causing extreeme tension. the more tense the more the knee locks, probably due to tightening of the leg muscles.

    If you force yourself to get into an extreeme relaxed state, the tension will ease and you will be able to unlock the joint without
    damaging the joint. I don’t experience and after pain or joint pain. when the joint locks, take a deep breath and then get rid of any tension. when you feel no tension , move the leg to a straight position very slowly. centimeters at a time. you may hear a pop but it will be very mild.

  5. Gordy says:

    Interesting comments, I am 53 and I can remember having knee lock since I was around 7. It was infrequent but very painful full, especially at this young age. Aso I grew older I learnt to live with this but I always thought it was a tendon issue . My GP , around 20 years ago, did say he could operate but also warned it would probably not be successful so I let it at that.
    I was still active, football, squash, never bothered me, it was only when my leg goes into an unnatural position, bent, that it sometimes would lock, over years I have learnt to straighten it again but it is still painfully, takes about 5 minutes.
    I manage it myself , watch the positions I get my self into but it still locks sometimes. I am sure it is the TF , popping out its docked and thunking back in when I work it back in position
    I am living with it for now, may be harder to work it back into position when I am older, I may seek my GPS again for advice

  6. Brian Wright says:

    Is there any way to contact you directly? Or, are there any doctors you recommend who you’ve found actually understand this ailment… I’ve been in an agonizing knee lock (exactly as you have described) for the past 18 hours, and despite multiple excruciating attempts to self-relocate into place, it’s still completely locked… Thanks in advance.

    • admin says:

      Brian, people contact me directly all the time, but I’m so sorry there’s probably nothing more I can offer than what’s available on the kneelock.com website. Read through the comments … many people have shared their methods for unlocking a knee. I’ve found only a tiny number of doctors who understand this ailment, and they are all listed in the resources page of this website. Gad, wish I could do more. 18 hour lock is the worst I’ve ever heard about.

  7. S128 Live says:

    This is a great tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.
    Simple but very accurate information… Appreciate your sharing this one.
    A must read article!

  8. Alex Marx says:

    I have a very “interesting” video I took of my knee locked, and then becoming unlocked as I straighten out my knee…the video is jarring to say the least for people who have never experienced this. My entire lower leg pops dramatically back into place when this occurs. I am all to familiar with the “thunk” sound and “mass of bone” shifting….would love to know what’s going on in there. Over the years I’ve learned to just slowly straighten my leg out until it slides back in, I’d say the pain now is a 2 when previously a 7-8. I assume I’ve worn out the bone, or ligaments or whatever to where it just slides in now a bit easier.

    I would like to get this video into the hands of an Ortho or surgeon to get their take on it…I’m willing to share the vid. It’s 18MB if anyone knows a doctor that would be interested please have them contact me.

    • admin says:

      Alex, suggest you read thru the comments under “My Story.” You might get a good idea of “what’s going on” with your knee. May I suggest you create a YouTube account (free) and post the video there. Then you can direct anyone to the URL => doctors, patients, readers of this blog, etc..

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