Painful Knee

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Hi, I'm a 64 yr old female, new to this forum and looking to tap into your knowledge of living with arthritis.

?I have had arthritis in R knee on and off for about 5 yrs but have managed with rest and painkillers over a couple of days each time. I was walking approx. 2 miles daily however over last 12 weeks I have had increasing pain in L Knee which has prevented me continuing.

?GP says "it's arthritis and you need to lose weight" - I was overweight before this but inactivity has made problem worse. GP also said I should try and go as long as possible before being referred. I am doing daily exercises at home (static bike / stretching / stairs etc.) But have gone from being quite active (although overweight) to having to force myself to do anything because it's so painful. I've tried Ibuprofen tablets and gel, Diclofenac gel, Paracetamol, heat pads, cool pads. I get very little relief and walking outdoors is a nightmare - my knee feels like it's pushing against something in the wrong position and shockwaves of pain make me pull up short all the time.

?Now the question I'm finally asking you is, is it common to have this level of immobility after such a short time? I'd be grateful for any info. - thanks.

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  • Posted

    Hi DoubleEm!

    Welcome to the forum!😄

    A poster in my orthopedic surgeon's office that I look at every time I visit shows the progress of osteoarthritis. One segment speaks to the arthritis beginning as early as age 30. Looking back at my own experiences I believe I first noticed a change in my joints after my first pregnancy at age 29.

    Arthritis seems to hit areas that may have experienced wear and tear and also injury such as falls even during our young lives. I was an avid skater my whole life with many falls on my knees as a kid.

    I have experienced flares in my arthritis a number of times over the years. Arthritis can be quite sneaky, coming on in new areas of the body with little or no warning.

    For me it was my INSURANCE which kept me at bay with their dog and pony show. Physical therapy (got WORSE after it!😡wink Cortisone shot ( was without pain for FOUR DAYS only!😧wink ,and Meloxicam pain medication added by my Rheumatologist (gave me a stomach ulcer!😱wink Was REFUSED by insurance company in getting the OrthoDisc shots to help build lost cartilage which MIGHT have helped.

    Became extremely disillusioned with the whole mess so DID NOT revisit doctors for four years after all that.

    Sudden EXCRUTIATING pain one morning in left knee. Could put NO WEIGHT on that leg for a day and a half and was on crutches. FINALLY broke down and made my appointment. X-rays showed much-developed bowing of both legs, disintegration of cartilage and progression of arthritis.

    Expected my surgeon to say I was a candidate for arthroscopic surgery, which often is the next step suggested by insurance companies. FORTUNATELY I was too late for that and NOW (FINALLY!!!) a candidate for knee replacements!!!🎉🎉🎉😁

    I made my appointment for surgery on that painful left knee BEFORE I left the office! Three and a half months later I had my right knee replaced.

    I have arthritis in many parts of my body two years later, but my KNEES feel GREAT!!!😁🥁🥁🎉💥😁 Best decisions EVER!!!

    I hope you see another doctor who will be more sympathetic to your pain. Losing weight and exercising sore joints often isn't enough. WAITING is like telling a person with a broken leg to WAIT until later. Just BAD ADVICE in my opinion!!!

    My "waiting" wasted my time, gave me more pain, worsened my joints, removed my cartilage to cause bone-on-bone WORSE pain, and made me lose much of my life experiences due to my pain. I also could have done without that stomach ulcer, too!👿

    I hope this helps.

    Nobody should have to live in pain.

    Let me know how things go for you, OK???

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    • Posted

      Many thanks for the useful info. Glad I'm not the only one who finds the exercises make it worse - I was thinking I was being a baby about it. I must find a way through this as I'm a full time carer. I will go and see another GP when my latest X Ray results come back in a couple of days. rolleyes

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  • Posted

    As a fellow OA sufferer I truly sympathise and I'm afraid, like you, I've found little that makes any joint comfortable once it's decided to join the party.

    My left knee decided out of the blue a couple of weeks ago that it would join my  wrists and feet in giving me hell especially first thing after waking up. I do find that after a hot shower and determined walking about the house it does ease a bit so I'm sure I wouldn't "qualify" for a replacement which I would not hesitate to go for if it were to be offered. Four years ago I had a total hip replacement and the relief was immediate and continues 100% pain free and I kicked myself for waiting so long to have it done.

    There was no time lag between first being aware of the knee pain and it becoming excruciating.

    My fingers were the same when they first hurt more than thirty years ago but, over time, ugly knobs appeared on all joints of both hands. They look horrible but the pain in the fingers has abated to severe and very inconvenient stiffness. Not sure if that's typical and, anyway, wouldn't want to wait that long before walking comfortably again.

    Last week I was told that my cataracts, which the optometrist  had said were at the stage of needing to be reported to my GP, were judge as not "qualifying". I did not ask, though wish I had, whether I did not qualify medically or was it financially. I have my suspicions and maybe your GP's encouragement to delay referral as long as  possible might fall into the same category.  I know, of course that there can be very valid reasons to delay and I must not be too cynical.

    I hope that you might find that the knee is presently at its worst and that it might settle to something liveable with but there don't seem to be any rules.

    Don't feel I've been much help except to let you know you're not alone. Best wishes.

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    • Posted

      Many thanks for your reply. I find some GPs make a habit of using "throwaway remarks" and if I was not in so much pain I might have hung around to clear up any misconceptions she might have about me. She doesn't ?know me because I rarely go to the surgery. Your experience of sudden onset of pain matches my own and so I need to get to grips with the it as best I can. rolleyes

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  • Posted

    Its not uncommon for it to suddenly get very painful, If you have OA and you get to bone on bone then its painful and its very hard to stop it. 

    I would go see another GP and ask for a referral to a surgeon. They are the experts not your GP. Oh and visiting a surgeon doesn't mean surgery, I had been seeing mine for over 5 years before he decided to operate on my fingers. 

    If you have the money it can really pay to go private, round here it would be about £325 for appointment and xray and get a definitive answer if your GP wont refer but if you are in that much pain they should do. 

    That said if you are very overweight surgery may not be possible until weight is lost anyway, 

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  • Posted

    Hi xi have just been reading your letter on here I'm 63 in a month I had a TKR in June I use to have to ask my GP if she would refer me to hospital and she said they wouldn't do it as was to young my GP went on mat leave so I saw another GP and straight away she referred me and before you know it I have been in and had it done on my right knee I need my left knee doing as well so after Christmas I will see my GP and get the ball rolling for my OP. I was in absolute agony before as my knees were bone on bone so now my right knee is fine my left one is awful the pain I have is awful I'm also having trouble with my back now I have had X-rays so going to see the GP what the results are.

    so if you can push to have it done as it won't get any better it will just get worse I wish you good luck. X

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  • Posted

     I am a 54 old man  heavily involved in sports since recently  my consultant said to me my knee  is now down to bone on bone and I was in great pain only option was TKR  I took the decision to look at my  lifestyle  first of all I cutout all  Refined  sugars  I then increased anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric cinnamon and   Looked at taking Supplements like MSM Powder,  cod liver oil   Rosehip hyaluronic acid Glucosamine plus spirulina tablets  and now I am pain free and doing everything that I enjoy doing in life hopefully I am avoiding knee surgery  I strongly advise not to take any strong painkillers as this destroys your body to heal I hope this information  good for you david
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  • Posted

    I am very sincere when I say this, but if you really want to stop the pain, you have to do something you have never done before. I will not be easy, so I am not even going to try and kid you.  But if really want to feel better and live a pain-free life STOP EATING PROCESSED SUGAR, You will go through withdrawal, but I can guide you through it.    
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