Left knee swelling.. could it be from the knee scooter?

Leg Scooter
Ever since week 2, I’ve been using a knee scooter to get to and from work, and it’s week 5 now. The scooter has been a God-send because getting around in NYC is not easy on crutches, and I find it’s much faster and less tiring. Plus, I felt like a kid again.

But after 2 weeks of using it, I noticed that my left knee (on the injured leg) was starting to hurt and swell. It got to the point where it was painful to put weight on it, and it hurt to extend it fully and bend it completely. I started taking ibuprofen and icing to bring the swelling down, and I switched back to crutches 4 days ago. The swelling has gone down, and it’s not as painful but still weak.

I think I’ll stick to crutches for now since I’m going in for my 2nd post-op visit this week to hopefully start full weight bearing. I don’t want my knee to get in the way of any of my achilles recovery. Has anyone else had issues like this using a leg scooter?

22 Comments so far

  1. gkraemer14 on May 13th, 2012

    I used the same scooter for 4 weeks. Did get a little (very little) bit of skin irritation/breakdown but certainly nothing like you’re describing. You could be developing a condition affectionately known as “housemaid’s knee”. Prepatellar bursitis is the technical term. You can do some research on that and see if that sounds like what you’ve got. If so, what you’ve been doing should help. You can also add a bit of compression (ace wraps work nicely)to help reduce the swelling. If you look up images you’ll likely get a lot of the more severe ones so stick to the written description of the diagnosis (the pictures are fun to look at though). Hope that helps.
    -GK

  2. normofthenorth on May 13th, 2012

    After op for my first ATR, I was immobilized way too long. I was kneeling at two sinks, and sometimes to scoot around the kitchen on a travel weelchair the family had. Everything was well padded, but eventually I noticed my knee joint was destabilizing. It’s not a great long-term way to B FW. I’d stay on crutches for now — and get to FWB at “full UWO protocol speed” (=~4 wks), if possible.

  3. normofthenorth on May 13th, 2012

    After op for my first ATR, I was immobilized way too long. I was kneeling at two sinks, and sometimes to scoot around the kitchen on a travel weelchair the family had. Everything was well padded, but eventually I noticed my knee joint was destabilizing. It’s not a great long-term way to B FW. I’d stay on crutches for now — and get to FWB at “full UWO protocol speed” (=~4 wks), if possible. (Already overdue, I see.)

  4. normofthenorth on May 13th, 2012

    Sorry for the dupe. The iPod showed the comment wasn’t posted, for some reason.

  5. Rupturedinnyc on May 15th, 2012

    Thanks GK and Norm. I think you’re both right. The symptoms sound like bursitis and I really do feel like I can start at least PWB during my 5 weeks. I’ve been putting very light weight on my bad foot while on crutches and am not feeling any discomfort. I’m hoping it helps give me some ROM for when I start FWB and PT at 6 weeks. Good news is the knee pain is now gone since I switched to crutches.

  6. Mimi Flag on January 23rd, 2015

    I can’t use crutches because of sholder pain so got a knee scooter and have used it for 2 weeks. UNFORTUNATELY now have severe shoulder impingement and have endured nights of no sllep. Steroid shot today to relieve the pain. The shoulder pain is so so much more painful than the broken foot ever was. Knee scooter is a great invention, but beware if you do not have upper body strength.

  7. squashedat on January 24th, 2015

    Mimi….feel your pain…I too have a rotator cuff injury/tear that got really bad during my ATR surgery as the Anesthetist decided to have my arms stretched out above my head, not sure why….and yes the pain in the shoulder continues to be worse than the leg, though it’s getting a little better as I have started some PT on it….not sure if this will help, but I used crutches by keeping them a little lower and using the side of my body (rather than under my shoulder) for support and bearing most of the weight on the forearms. My forearms were sore but it kept the weight of the bad shoulder.

  8. Pat Barconey on September 26th, 2015

    I broke my ankle two weeks ago. I did not need surgery. My anle was splinted in the Emrgency Room, and then the orthopedic doc gave me a foam/hard plastic/velcro walking cast.I rented a knee walker the day after the injury, and bought crutches the day after that. The crutches didn’t work for me, as I’m 72 and a little overweight. At first I thought the knee walker was great. But as the days went on, I started to feel as though it was damaging my knee. My knee got a little swollen in one spot, it hurt when I moved it a certain way, and the pressure on the knee pad hurt more and more. Also, I could no longer straighten that knee. I put a bed pillow on the knee pad, and that helped, but there was still too much pressure on my knee. I felt I was destabilizing the knee. I got very discouraged. Finally, I rented a transport wheelchair. That solved my whole problem, thank God. I can get around my ranch house with the wheelchair, and I can do so much more sitting in it than kneeling, as before. Fortunately, I am retired, so I can stay at home. You can push the wheelchair yourself with one foot. Whenever possible, I push it backwards, which is easier.I also use my hands to pull forward using the moulding on doorways and anything else solid I can grab onto. That makes moving forward easier. My house has carpet as well as vinyl floors, and I can manage. I now feel upbeat and know that I will be okay for the remaining weeks and months of my recovery. I put the knee walker in a corner and do not use it at all any more. My knee feels much better now, and the pain is gone. I hope this helps someone else who finds themself in a similar situation.

  9. Mary on October 13th, 2015

    I to have been using a knee scooter for the last 5 weeks from a NWB surgery on my right foot It has my knee large and swollen and I now have pains jetting throughout my knee. 10 more days and i can again put weight on my foot and this walker is going in the trash.

  10. DJ on November 18th, 2015

    I’ve been using a knee scooter for 2 weeks after arthrodesis and bunionectomy on my big toe. No weight bearing or driving for six weeks. Around the house it’s fine, but if I exceed 5-10 minutes, it KILLS my knee - miserable pain, to the point that I can barely straighten it. If you have good knees, I think it would be fine, but I’ve had arthroscopy and facetectomy, and will eventually need a knee replacement. I’m working on a solution to add extra padding to the knee rest but still worry about what will happen when I have to get to the bus stop to go back to the office.

  11. Linda on January 1st, 2016

    Folks, someone hit my husband and I head on when they fell asleep. My foot was broke and I couldn’t use crutches due to five broken ribs, broken sternum and a couple things broken in my back. I loved the scooter at first, but quickly added an oven mitt to the knee pad. I went back to work after two months and I was in so much pain, I didn’t care what people thought! After four months I was allowed to start stepping on the foot and weaning myself off the scooter. My knee is killing me! I remember the knee swelling months ago, but now its just the paralyzing pain that causes me to limp. I’m doing strengh exercises for my thigh to support my knee and taking Tylenol which helps if I take three instead of the recommended two. Maybe it is bursitis, I’m going to beat this thing! It’s over six months since the accident. I have a life to live! Praise God!

  12. home remedies for knee swelling on April 29th, 2016

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  13. Melinie on August 20th, 2016

    I am 8 weeks NWB for right bunionectomy with arthrodesis midfoot and hammertoe repair. I am one week post op, up until yesterday only using knee scooter in the house. Have had gradually increasing right knee pain despite adding an extra memory foam pad. Last night went out to dinner and shopping for more foam padding and the knee pain hit hard, could barely straighten out my leg. No history of knee problems, very healthy otherwise. I am 55 and overweight. 2 questions:
    1. Did anyone ever see a doctor for the knee pain and if so, what was the diagnosis?
    2. Did anyone try adjusting the height of the knee platform and if so, did that help?
    3. Were any of you professionally fit for your scooter?
    Thanks much. It helps to know of others going through the same thing.

  14. Terri in Texas on September 15th, 2016

    Shattered my foot after rolling my ankle in a high platform flip flop while on vacation in Key West. After surgery, I was non-weight bearing for 4 weeks and using a knee scooter to get around and crawling up stairs, but during the last few days my knee started to swell and hurt. Now I’m 50% weight bearing and using crutches and the scooter, but the pain in my knee is excruciating!I think it’s housemaid knee, but I’m making a doctors appt today. I am 50 and fit, but I just can’t stand the pain. It sure would be nice if these side effects were discussed with me before the surgery. I’m so relieved to see this blog. I was so worried, but it almost sounds common.I’m getting married in 4 weeks. Wondering how I’m going to do this.

  15. Terri Brady on September 15th, 2016

    Shattered my foot after rolling my ankle in a high platform flip flop while on vacation in Key West. After surgery, I was non-weight bearing for 4 weeks and using a knee scooter to get around and crawling up stairs, but during the last few days my knee started to swell and hurt. Now I’m 50% weight bearing and using crutches and the scooter, but the pain in my knee is excruciating!I think it’s housemaid knee, but I’m making a doctors appt today. I am 50 and fit, but I just can’t stand the pain. It sure would be nice if these side effects were discussed with me before the surgery. I’m so relieved to see this blog. I was so worried, but it almost sounds common.I’m getting married in 4 weeks. Wondering how I’m going to do this

  16. Shirl Hammerschmidt on October 16th, 2016

    Getting ready for ankle surgery using knee scooter for past 6 days because of pre casting to reduce current pain. Ian already having knee pain. Has anyone tried using knee pads for gardening when using knee scooter?

  17. Homemade on October 18th, 2016

    I am on my 4th week post op (broken ankles in the left foot). On week 3 I bought a knee scooter.
    I knew I needed to have strong knees to ’scoot’ around, what I didn’t know is that my knees probably aren’t that strong or maybe they got weak due to 2 weeks immobility.
    The knee of my injured leg got swollen and hurt a little bit. Fortunately I understood quite early what was going on and stopped using it.
    Now I’m using the plain walker and the wheelchair for safety, when I feel sleepy or tired.
    The thing is that my house has quite narrow rooms that are not accessible by the wheelchair nor the walker. Having a bad knee though, while I’m about to walk (in 2 to 4 weeks) is quite serious and can’t be overlooked.
    Another problem that I had with the knee walker/scooter is that the pad proved to be high for me (I’m 1.70 high, woman, I didn’t expect to set the pad on the shorter height, well, there was no space for me to put an extra pad so that I feel more comfortable with my knee).

  18. doralee on April 24th, 2017

    hi, cae her looking for answers. I broke my ankle 2.5 weeks ago and started using a scooter right away, as I have very little upper strength, and because you can’t clean, cook, carry things on crutches. But I also realized how dangerous it was that I had no upper strength (didn’t realize it until this happened) so I have been careful to switch off between crutches and scooter. In fact, I am now doing laps at the park on my crutches!! (proud of myself)Anyway, I noticed a few days ago I have this weird fleshy lump size of a golf ball right above the knee on my injured/resting on scooter leg.Also my knee hurts badly. I can still straighten it but painfully..and it “creaks” badly. Im concerned Im damaging a previously healthy knee. Thanks for all the input!

  19. Suzanne on March 22nd, 2018

    Hello everyone!
    I had detachment/reattachment surgery of my Achilles tendon and Haglund’s Deformity removed on my left foot on March 20th. I am using a knee scooter and crutches to get around my house. My foot/leg is still a bit numb from the nerve block, but feeling is coming back. I am feeling pain in my shin and knee when using the scooter. I currently have 2 faux sheepskin covers on the knee pad, but they aren’t soft enough, and I can still feel the hardness of the pad, hence the shin pain. I purchased a piece of memory foam to form a soft cushion between the knee pad and the sheepskin cover. I am hoping this helps as I will be using this knee scooter for over a month while I am NWB. Does anyone have any suggestions? Currently the shin pain is worse than the actual incision. Any information would be helpful. Thank you!

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  22. Faith on March 5th, 2020

    I fell and have a possible hairline fracture in my ankle. I also have fibromyalgia and crutches were causing me way too much body pain and I had to put weight on my foot (told not to) just to keep my balance. My husband got me a knee scooter. I’ve only used it less than 48hrs and my knee feels bruised. I’m not even using it that much either. I’m a homemaker and just use it to get around the house. I’m only 5’ so I also use it to sit on and scoot around if I need to carry stuff. I sure hope this doesn’t damage my knee as I already have one messed up knee. I see the orthopedic again in 8 days so plan to ask. I hate to have to use a wheel chair as I’m sure that will also cause shoulder pain from pushing myself around. Thanks for this post by the way.

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