knee pain and advice needed please

Posted , 5 users are following.

hello to all here.

?I'll try to be as brief as possible. I had knee pain in both knees but worse in the left knee from 2013. After physio, cortisone injections (didn't work) x-rays, mri. Diagnosed with osteoarthritis.I was sent for an arthroscopy and micro-fracture in November 2014. This left me worse off. I was off work for 16 weeks - I need to be able to kneel, carry equipment and get up and down off the floor, also drive. Using the clutch in the car left me in tears. Every time I pressed the clutch down my knee would jolt and click through - hard to describe. In the meantime I had the same done to the right knee which was a success.

?Back into surgery for the left knee again. I had had further hyalorinic (??sp??) injections (no relief) This was in spring/summer 2015. The surgeon said the microfracture hadn't worked and he had taken out a flap or lump that was presumably causing the  jolting/jamming effect in the knee. It did get marginally better but has since deteriorated significantly. I am in constant pain. I have been prescribed co-codamol for the day and amytriptyline, 10mg, for the nerve pain at night. These don't really get rid of the pain. I also use voltarol gel on occasions.

If I have my knee at right angles when sitting it hurts - at home I sit with it up on a stool.  Bizarrely I can straighten my knee excellently. I can lift it and my mobility is good. I swam for many many years and the physio remarked that I have "swimmers legs" so I am quite strong. I have no swelling and never have done. I continue to do the exercises given to me after the first surgery.

?The pain is getting me down. I would like to sit in an upright chair without pain. I can no longer walk as much as I used to. Recently my knee has given way and I have fallen over twice in the last two weeks. I am nervous on stairs. My knee no longer feels safe.

?Is there a solution? I am 53. I understand the reluctance for replacement but really don't think this level of pain is realistic to manage for  long term. I am a little overweight - I know this doesn't help.

Any ideas I can take to the GP?

Thank you

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi poor you! I would go & see your GP asap! Have you tried reflexology? What about a bracelet magnet? These joints of ours are more trouble than they are worth.My poor Hubby has got water on the knee & is on chair rest.And strong medication.If any one else can give any advise regarding water on the knee I would be very grateful.Hope you manage to get a helpful gp regards Amanda

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    • Posted

      Thank you - no I have no knowledge of water on the knee. I have no swelling and a good range of movement in mine. The right knee surgery was successful and I have little or no pain in that. The left knee just feels like it's burning up all the time.

      ?I'm not sure more painkillers are the answer.

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  • Posted

    Hello. Sounds like you're at the end with your knee. It took me 8 months after being scoped on right knee to get there. I was never going to go through with a TKR but I realized finally that was the only alternative. Tried rooster comb, cortison many times. Nothing. I am 7 weeks post operation and still healing, but it's already better than where I was. You will know when it's time. Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Thank you - that is interesting. I don't want a TKR really - like you. I know it is major, invasive and there is no going back once it's done. But the pain is getting me down. If I could manange that it wouldn't be so bad as my mobility is ok - well the falling over isn't ok but I can bend it ok!

      ?I did see a GP earlier this year about another issue and asked him about my knee as a side point. He said that a TKR - 30% would say it's a miracle cure and they were 100% better, 30% of people said it was a bit better and 30% of people said they were worse off. He said that as I am young - in terms of knee replacement - maybe the 30% of miracle cure was not good enough odds.  My argument remains that I have to work till I'm 67 before pension. Will I be able to work for another 14 years - no definately not.

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Trizwizz. Everything I have read states that 95% of TKR patients are happy with the results. The surgery was easier than I thought. The recovery, which I'm doing now is tough mostly because of the time element. It takes at least 3 months, and you go through not so much pain, but frustration with the process. But I feel like I'm turning the corner. I have at least 4 more years to work (I'm 62). I work in a papermill and know a guy who had both knees done and gets along just fine with no pain. I finally got to the point of not being able to walk right at my job. Hunched over. And I thought, this is just crazy. Plus my knee started hurting in other places, so I knew it was breaking down. Hope you find a solution .

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    • Posted

      Well this is sort of my thought. At my (young !) age - surely this would be good as I would be motivated to do the physio and exercises to promote recovery?

      Is there nothing else to try? Is it TKR or nothing? Maybe I just need to see the GP....

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  • Posted

    Hi trizwizz

    i dont know if you are in the UK i have struggled with my left knee sinc my teens at 52 im now 58 i was told it would be at least 10 years until my knee would be replaced at the beginning of this year it got extremely painful went to my GP he referred me and 4 months later i had my tkr so they will do it stress to them how much pain your in an maybe tjey will help you to find some relief good luck.

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    • Posted

      Yes I am in the UK. I have replied to Dee below with some more info. I was told that taking the amytriptyline was not good long term as it can accelerate the symptoms of alzheimers. If I don't take it my knee feels like its on fire - it doesn't get rid of the pain completely but does take the edge off it. For example I've not long got up this morning (day off work today), I haven't taken the amytriptyline for a couple of days and the pain is constantly there already. I've taken the co-codamol but really that doesn't touch the pain - not sure why I take it!!

       

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  • Posted

    My story parallels yours as far as age, treatments tried, getting rid of my stick shift car, etc.  Once my knee began to buckle regularly, as you described, I knew I had no other options. I am now almost 12 weeks post TKR and while it has been a challenge I am also so grateful that I had it done. I know I have a ways to go with my recovery, but the knee pain and mobility issues are hopefully behind me. As far as what to say to your GP, I guess I would ask for a referral to an ortho specialist and go from there. Regardless of your age, if you decide you are ready then that is your decision and they should respect that. Good luck!
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    • Posted

      Thank you! Sorry for the later reply - I just got too tired last night and went to bed!

      ?I think I know in my heart that carrying on is not a feasible option. Earlier this year I had other surgery for another completely different problem. Due to this I saw a GP in my practice and said to him that I wasn't really coping with the pain in my knee. I said that I fel tthat, although a TKR, is major, invasive and drastic that surely as I am young (ish!) reasonably fit and mobile then is it not better to have it done now when I can recover well rather than wait till I was older and in more pain. Also I have to work till I'm 67 to get my pension - at present I can't see this happening.

      ?The consultant said to get an automatic car - well I don't earn £100,000 a year as the consultant does and life is not always that easy and simple! Yes I can see that that would help. My issue is that I want to get rid of the pain not alleviate the symptoms.

      ?I was wondering whether there is any in between treatments I could go for before TKR?

      ?I shall have to go see the GP - I am in the UK - and get referred - again!  Do need to sort out the other health issues too............

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    • Posted

      At this point, as others have stated, I don't think there are other viable options to hold you over - besides your own tolerance of the situation. I am the same age as you and I just completed my nursing degree in May. I also have a good 15 years left until I can retire and want to make the most of my new career. TKR was an investment in myself that I knew I needed to make in order to get the quality of life going forward that I knew I wanted (and needed in order to be able to work).  Perhaps you could also look at it as an investment in yourself. One year from now you could be new and improved health-wise, or you could still be suffering with the surgery looming as an inevitable choice. Either way that year is going to pass and wouldn't it be nice to feel better? I think my age and overall health has played a big role in my recovery. It has not been without its challenges but I am glad I didn't wait any longer. The longer you go with that kind of impairment, the greater the damage to the rest of your body -  we start walking incorrectly, standing, sleepjng, etc. and our whole body pays for it - hips, feet, spine, etc. I wish you good luck with all of this!!

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    • Posted

      Having trouble trying to write a reply tonight!

      Anyway, I think I know what the answer is really. Trouble is I have had a prolapse repair earlier this year which, although was successfully repaired, has led to other problems which are ongoing and may need more surgery - things are not right in that area!! So part of the problem is getting up enough emotional energy to tackle this. The knee pain is far worse than th eprolapse problem which is not painful at all but causes other problems!!

      It just seems odd to go from arthroscopy - which is relatively minor to TKR which is massive. THe orthopaedic surgeon did mention that if the arthritis was right under the knee cap there was apossibiltiy of opening up, lifting up the knee cap and scraping the arthritis away then putting it back together. I imagine like lifting a tortoise's shell. It wasn't a procedure he did and would need a re-referral elsewhere. At the last arthroscopy he just scraped around and redid the microfracture - he felt there was not enough arthritis to warrant the other procedure. It appears that they don't know what they are going to find till they actually look!

      Hopefully I shall have another appt fo rthe prolapse bit soon and that can be discussed - once I know what is planned fo rthat I will find it easier mentally to deal with the knee. 

      I expect I shall be back here! Thank you

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