Right knee began "locking" in 1988 or so, finally had arthroscopic surgery to trim miniscus in 1989. 2nd arthroscopic sugery in 1990 after tearing the same miniscus. 3rd scope done on same knee for same problem 1994 and 4th in 1996 (the later two not necessarily from re-tearing the miniscus, just because the joint never did stop "catching" after the first surgeries.
During a 5th sugery on the same knee in 1997, the orthopedic surgeon again found nothing in MRI to show cause for "catching", but he did smooth a few pits under the patella which he thought might be from osteoarthritis and causing irritation. That did nothing so 6 months later he did an Osteo Chondral Graft of non-weight bearing hard cartlidge under the right patella. That did nothing to stop the "catching" So now, 6 surgeries and still a "catch". I could live with this symptom, but still would like someone to find the "catch" cause!
I think I have self-diagnosed long enough to share two possibilities: Neuromas in the knee after multiple surgeries. From the Cleveland Pain Clinic: "Your situation sounds like a very difficult one. Your neuromas are likely what we call "traumatic neuromas", the trauma being your basketball injury and the subsequent surgeries on your knee. These neuromas form when the nerve endings that have been damaged or actually cut in half as occurs when making a surgical incision attempt to grow back together, but cannot do so because scar tissue or something else is in their way. This results in massive oversprouting of the nerve fibers in random directions as they try to (unsuccessfully) navigate their way around the road block so to speak. These excess nerve endings eventually ball up along with nearby scar tissue like spaghetti in a cement block, and thus the "tumor" or neuroma is formed."
The pain is in the inside of my right knee, right at the joint and slightly below. The odd thing, I can't feel the pain unless I touch the area, or put any pressure on it at all (even a pillow between the legs). OR, if I put any type of uneven pressure on the joint, which seems to activate something that presses the nerves that may be damaged and causes the severe pain. It is enough to make me turn white and fall down if I don't catch myself. There is also a second place that is almost as sore to the touch about 6 inches down from this spot on the insde of my shin, same symptoms as the knee area.
During this period, I have seen several neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, joint specialists, podiatrists, physical therapists, choiropractors, pain specialists, psychologists and psychiatrists. I've had most types of typical and specialist injections multiple times, all of the therapies for pain, including accupuncture, reflexology, myliofascial, touch, and of course the medications listed on most of the "knee pain" sites.