What could be the reason?

Posted , 3 users are following.

Hi all, I am new to this forum and I wonder if anyone has an idea what is causing my pain.

It happens only when I am laying in bed, and usually more towards morning.  I awaken myself due to my moaning.  Both knees just hurt like crazy!  Once I get up, they do not hurt the rest of the day.  This has been happening for many years.

I had one knee surgery 10 years ago and was told that my knee would need replaced and that that surgery should last 7 to ten years.  The surgery was drilling into my knee in five different places to cause micro fractires in order to encourage the natural growth of cartilage. Well, this is the tenth year, but why would my other knee be hurting right along with the surgery one?

Thanks for any ideas

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16 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Dawn!

    I suspect you are awakened by the stiffness that leads to pain due to less movement throughout the night.

    My osteoarthritis started like this, although, at the time I had no actual word to attach to what I was experiencing. (This was when I was in my mid thirties.)

    As soon as I started moving, all stiffness and pain went away.

    I was good until about age 56 when stiffness and pain returned throughout the day and age 62 when it NEVER LEFT!

    Had both TKRs last year, four months apart. My knees are now the only joints that feel "normal".

    Guess I gotta save up for more joint replacements!

    Others may have other takes on what you are experiencing, but it sure sounds like how MY STORY started!

    Keep moving. That seems to be the key! Take any pain meds as needed, try yoga, try fish oil (2000mg. per day), and keep hydrated.

    Wishing you answers and less discomfort!

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    • Posted

      Thank you Cheryl.  I am nearly 58 and my knee surgery was done in my latter 40's.  Of all things, I tore the cartilage in my left knee while demonstrating cartwheels to my five year old granddaugter who asked me to show her how!  Within a week I was in surgery.  THE most painful surgery I have ever endured!  And I have had many.

      Yes, keeping moving helps.  I have not taken the fish oil in a long time, but will find some.  

      Another thought just struck me too.  I have had three hip replacements and struggled to walk for a year and a half with a surgery gone bad.  Perhaps that has been hard on my knees as well.

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    • Posted

      Torn cartilage sounds scary painful! No wonder the surgery was so awful!

      I learned the term "compensating" here on this site and then heard it over and over while I was in Physical Therapy. I obviously had "compensated" for at least five years. (I stepped off a curb on vacation in Orlando, Florida, felt a POP and refused to ruin my vacation. I hobbled around, iced it, tried to do some water therapy of sorts in the pool...all ways to try to ignore my pain and replace it with VACATION!

      From then (2007) until last year, I compensated for the PAIN behind my knee which by then was all around my knee and had added my left knee, too. I was walking weird, but I ignored it. I really did think I was fooling everyone, too.

      After my surgeries ( TKRs in June and October of last year), I realized how bad I had gotten with limping, standing on one foot then another and back again and foregoing SO MANY activities I once enjoyed because my knees were just too painful.

      My knees before surgery also caused my hips to throb. My sciatic nerve on the right burned like crazy.

      Following physical therapy and my two surgeries, my hips feel somewhat better as does the sciatica. I have arthritis a number of places in my body, but my knees are doing great.

      I'll bet your hip issues HAVE affected your knees.

      Have you gone for recent X-RAYS? That is how I was able to see how badly my knees had become. I scheduled my first TKR before I left the office that day!

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    • Posted

      I was VERY ready to be done with my old knees! I was in EXCRUTIATING PAIN prior to surgery!

      My pain following my TKRs was nothing compared to my pain prior TO SURGERY. I was given a nerve block with each for the first two days in the hospital. I also had this white board that I could see from my bed with possible extra pain management medications and the time I could ask for them if needed. If I was within the time frame for a particular shot or pill, the nurses brought it.

      They had me up and standing by evening following surgery. They showed me how to lock my knee before I stepped with my SURGICAL leg because the nerve block removes feeling while it is working. I had a nurse on each arm, and an aide pushing my pole holding my IVs. The four of us paraded to the bathroom about every half hour because just about all I did was PEE that first 24 hours! I asked the nurses if I could get credit with the physical therapists for all the walking I was doing ALL NIGHT LONG! They told me they had it all recorded and that they were proud of me for doing so much movement.

      With my first TKR my whole leg felt like a tree trunk filled with CEMENT. My second TKR felt quite flexible, and I was moving it back and forth, up and down in the recovery room. No two knees are the same, apparently...even if they belong to the same body!

      My first new knee was stiff, heavy, and uncooperative for a couple days. Every movement required real thinking --like learning to walk all over again. My second new knee was a real trooper! I was walking down the hall and back from physical therapy on the day following surgery. They discharged me after just two days in the hospital. Two surgeries...two very different experiences!

      I'm eight months and four months from my surgeries. I no longer think about my knees all day long. Having my surgeries gave me my life back. I look forward to resuming my walking in the spring.🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸

      My new knees feel like my own now. I LOVE them!💗💗

      Everyone has a different story, but that is mine. I hope you have great success if you choose to have surgery!

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    • Posted

      No, I have not gone for x-rays on my knees at all, since surgery in 2006.  Looks like I have to do so.  Thank you for sharing your story and you are such a good communicator.
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    • Posted

      My 2011 X-ray showed cartilage deterioration and some bone spurs. By 2015 I had WORN OFF the bone spurs, my cartilage was completely GONE, and my legs had bowed to the point that I was BONE-ON-BONE and walking on about a one inch section of that bone in each KNEE!

      When I saw the damage that had been done in just four years, I was SHOCKED. I, however then had many good reasons for my pain, my lack of balance and my diminished ability to walk, stand, and do most things I had been doing my whole life.

      Having surgery was definitely a no-brainer for me given the dismal condition of my knees!

      Yes, please get a new X-RAYS! It will give you a lot of helpful information and may guide you along the path to proper treatment, too.

      Thank you for your kind words about communicating! I have always found that writing things down helps me sort out how I am feeling and can give me insight into the next steps I should take. I have kept a journal since my first day in the hospital, and it has helped me deal with all I have been through these last eight months. It also helps me remind myself of my progress.

      This site has benefited me greatly, so I TRY to give back when I may have an idea or two that could help someone else.

      Wishing you a pain-free time and answers to all your questions!

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  • Posted

    Several possibilities....

    You have used it more to compensate for the bad knee. The extra effort has put a strain on it. I just had acsteroid injection in the knee and shoulder because I was immobilized and non weight bearing for nearly 5 months on a walker. I messed up everything.

    The knee could just be wearing out. Maybe an injection would help or you may be looking at tkr on it.

    I suggest to get xrays and mri for proper diagnosis an d treatment

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    • Posted

      I had a staph infection and had to have the prosthesis removed, the infection cleaned up withantibiotic infusion and new prosthesis installed. I was immobilized for 4 months and then one month after the the 2nd surgery. I have a rare tumor and have had 11 surgeries plus radiation and broken femur since 2002
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    • Posted

      Oh my!  You have been through so much!  Infection is something we all dread and hope does not happen.  What does it feel like when the prosthesis is removed?  Do you literally have no joint?  How did you do anything for yourself in that condition?

      I remember when I learned of all the amazing precautions my surgeon takes to avoid infection.  To the point that he wears a space suit of sorts, and even breathes his own oxygen. He had three other surgeons with him, 4th and 5th year med students, and they all wore the suits.  I am glad I was asleep because seeing the suits would have freaked me out!

      I feel for you.


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    • Posted

      Correct....you have no joint. Thy insert a couple of pieces of plastic. Sounds rather gruesome but here is the way the surgeon explained it to me. : the 2 pieces of plastic are molded to sort of meet and have a male/female type slot and. Extruded area. They are filled with a "concete" that is infusedvwith antibiotics so that whentvthe concrete breaks down the antibiotic seeps into th hole in the bone. A stainless steel wife is looped to go through a hole in the spacer and then a loop is made in the other end of that wife to fit snugly down in The bones, both the femur and tibia.. Those wife's are inserted so the spacer just sort of touches. The leg is closed. And I'm my case 30 to 40 stitches put in.....the leg is wrapped in an ace bandage for a week or so and then just minimal bandages are put in place. The keg I s put in a hip to ankle I mmobiliser and you are put on a walker with toe touch weight bearing. And no bending. For 8 weeks while you receive massiv e doses of antibiotics through a PICC line twice a day. Then you are allowed. 20° bend and 50% weight bend while still being immobilized f o r 6 more weeks to make sure the infection hasn't reared its ugly head again. If all is o k the surgery is set to install the new p=osthesis. At that time you are put back in the immobilizer until the leg has healed well enough to have the stitches removed and the weight bearing and bend is reintroduced. I was in a rehab center for 3 weeks rack time as my wife isnt able to offer much assistance because of her condition. I had 3 hours of physical/occupational therapy 6 days a week. M ghee leg had atropied so badly I am still trying to get strength. I had 3 weeks of home health before starting out patient which I still do once a week and then go to a private gym now 3 days a week. This last month has been kind of on and on as I am having my eyes defuzzed. I had the 2nd eye done last week and Tuesday will get fitted with the proper prescription and as soon as the new glasses are ready I'm back in business. Getting the cataract work done is fantastic. I knew my eyes were bad but not that bad. Between having to wrestle the walker in and out if the car without bending the leg or putting any weight on it and then not being able to see well made for anxious moments. Because of the Parkinson s my wife hadn't been able to drive through all of this for the past couple of years so like I've said many times, you don't really know what pressure is till you have it unexpectedly applied. As a side note.......I have a fellow thats a year older than me and weve been friends with since 1st grade (im now 79). He and one of my classmates married right out of high school (summer ofv'54). She was a very talented, bright girl but is now deep into Alzheimers. Jim has always been a very industrious, hard worker but never did anything on domestic side of the marriage. Opening a can of soup was akin to putting out a gourmet meal as far as he was concerned. Recently Nancy fixed herself a frozen dinner for lunch. Just one small problem, she didnt remove the cardboard packaging......the packaging was smoldering when Jim came in, just before the thing completely ignited.........now let me tell you, thats real pressure and makes all of this leg business seem pretty basic.

      You are correct about the dangers of infection and knee replacement. First thing the Dr's warned me about was infection and. 2nd was blood clots. Both can kill you or make t ou wish you were dead. As I told my wife when the infection hit me......I knew I wasn't going to die as I would have to get to feeling better before that could happen. Well......as usual, I did a lot of rambling but hope I answered your question without scaring you to death. One thing I never say....Oh my God, what's next.........for fear I'll find out.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for explaining the procedure so clearly! I had often wondered all that went into it after I heard that something like that actually WAS a procedure!

      I've said this to you before, but I will say it again...THANK YOU so much for sharing all that you have gone through on your very long journey to wellness! You have a wonderful way of teaching as you share your story that not only gives the details but, even more importantly, INSPIRES me with your persistence!

      A couple weeks ago I met John who is just 55. He is in the same nursing / rehab facility as my mother-in-law. He had his left knee prosthesis removed in January due to infection. He's doing OK, but you can tell that the whole ordeal really took its toll on him. He seemed eager to talk about it, and I was interested to hear what he had to say. He's a fighter like you are, and he is doing well.

      Recently my mother-in-law started talking to us and today even LAUGHED! Her fall+ stroke+ UTI+ body temp of 87 from laying halfway out the front door in -10° weather + anemia requiring 2 units of blood THREE TIMES so far+ pneumonia really threw her for a loop last February 19th and hospitalized her three times. This is her third nursing home so far due to hospitalizations that took her out of one place and necessitated finding new places because they had no room for her in ones she had been in previously. Seeing her FINALLY acting like herself and having six good days this MONTH has been so great!

      We realize that she may go back to her nearly catatonic state anytime, but these six days have truly been a gift.

      You sure are right about "What's next?", but sometimes the " What's next?" can be something unexpected but WONDERFUL!

      Sending prayers to you and your wife this morning! Thank you for ALWAYS being there for those of us in the forum. Thank you for being the voice of reason and the voice of caring. You have so much on your plate YET you take time to help us all.

      Thank you!

      God has greatly blessed you!

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