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Old 07-25-2008, 07:53 AM   #1
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I've wrecked my knee and can't walk!

Well, I can walk, I just can't walk on the 2-mile trail any more. All my walking has to be on resilient surfaces (grass, dirt, sand), a treadmill, or a real track like they use at schools.

I wrecked it last August. How? Carrying the newborn grandson up and down all the stairs since DD had had a C-section and couldn't carry that fat little boy!

Note: I did not tear the meniscus or ACL, I just developed bursitis and lost most of the cartilage in the joint. The doctors have routinely checked my motion and there is no gross tear. An X-ray revealed mild osteo-arthritis. Well duh, I was diagnosed with that at age 30.

Since then, I have used or am continuing to use: physical therapy at the clinic, exercises at home (including with a resistance band), ice packs, cane, knee braces, heating pad, TENS unit, glucosamine/chondroitin (for several years, actually), careful use of the leg in all situations.

Problems that can't be avoided: I live in a 3-level townhouse, and drive a stick shift. So does DH, so we can't swap cars.

Using all of the above, I brought the knee back to about 90%. Then in April, we went to a wedding and I insisted on dancing. Next morning, AGONY. It started to come back, but over the last few weeks, it's gotten much worse. Things that weren't painful even in the beginning now can be excruciating, like just sitting here at the computer! I finally went back to the doctor and she sent me for an MRI of the knee. No word yet on the results.

Obviously, exercising can be very painful. I did 30 minutes on my treadmill earlier in the week and about killed myself. I can still do the leg-lifting exercises with little or no pain in that joint. I have to wear shoes all the time in the house now (Crocs, for the resilience) when I used to go barefoot in the summer. Sitting at the movies or anyplace for a long time (plane flights) is horrible.

My options are probably going to be injections or a knee replacement. So I'd like to know, has anyone had those injections into the joint? Do they work? How long do they last? Any adverse reactions or bad luck?

What about knee replacement surgery? It just seems so drastic. How long is the recovery period? And special thoughts or considerations?
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Old 07-25-2008, 07:56 AM   #2
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your diagnosis was bursitis? How did you lose cartilage?
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Old 07-25-2008, 08:00 AM   #3
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Knee issues - well they suck. I've busted up my left knee twice, so it's bone-on-bone now, and even that isn't doing too well.

Obviously, getting your MRI results will enable your doc to get a good diagnosis and treatment plan.

In the meantime, listen to your knee. When it hurts, rest it. Ice it down. My favorite knee wrap is from a company called Professional's Choice and it was worth ever penny. You might also look into accupuncture for pain relief. Works great for me.

Injections of hyluronic acid can work... we've been doing it with horses for years, with great results. All depends on the amount of damage.

Update us when you get the MRI results.
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Old 07-25-2008, 08:10 AM   #4
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JustKim, I lost the cartilage because of the angle and strain from carrying the baby in his car seat up and down 2 long flights of stairs several times in 2 weeks. It isn't totally gone, but there isn't much left.

AllMyPonies, thanks for the suggestions about acupuncture and hyaluronic acid. Acupuncture is a good, non-invasive option. I'm happy to try it and will ask the doctor about it.
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Old 07-25-2008, 08:26 AM   #5
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Same thing happened to me for the same reasons! It happened in both knees. First time was when I was doing the "twist" to dancercize music and the second time a couple of years later was when I was carrying MY fat baby grandson up the stairs. I babysit for him everyday and we made a nursery for him with a babybed in it upstairs. Gosh that kid is HEAVY. Anyway, I got my knees x-rayed both times and all the report said was "wear and tear." I thought for sure the second time I was going to be in a wheelchair the rest of my life. I had to put the baby to sleep on the floor downstairs because I couldn't carry him up the stairs anymore. I am babysitting for him because my daughter cna't afford daycare. Anyway, both times this happened I was laid up for over a month and just rested and used a cane (NO stairclimbing--I tried it once and had to go up on my hands and knees). I finally healed, but I still have to be careful not to "overdo it." Thankfully my grandson is now walking. We taught him how to climb the stairs when he was about 7 months old (with someone right behind him) and now i am teaching him to come down the stairs by himself. So hang in there. I wouldn't opt for knee replacement unless absolutely neccessary or you play golf or something. Walking helps a lot though.

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Old 07-25-2008, 08:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustKim View Post
your diagnosis was bursitis? How did you lose cartilage?

My doctor said that cartiledge just wears down with age from normal usage. Then when you strain the muscle that holds the kneecap in place it causes pain from the rubbing together of the bones since there is insufficient cartilege to "pad" the bones.
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Old 07-25-2008, 10:20 AM   #7
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if it comes to knee replacement...

i had my left knee done 6 yrs ago. it went very well. i had the procedure 7/30/08. i went back to work on 8/26/08 & continued phys therapy on my time. I understand, they have improved the technique since then. less scarring. Probably less inpatient time as well. Make inquiries. But when the pain gets too intolerable, you have some decisions to make. Best of luck: FLATFERENGHI
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Old 07-25-2008, 10:21 AM   #8
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made an error!!!

i had the procedure 7/30/02. I returned to work 8/26/02. FF
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Old 07-25-2008, 10:23 AM   #9
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I had a knee replacement three years ago after suffering from chronic pain and limited mobility for the previous five years. It was best decision I ever made. Still, I hesitate to tell anyone else they should do it because my sister had serious complications after hers and my neighbor recently had one and is having a very hard time with the rehabilitation. Like most things involving our bodies, everyone is slightly different.

My situation was this. I had a small cartilage tear in my knee when I was a child. That was back when the repair surgery was major one (in the 60's) and since I wasn't athletically active it didn't bother me enough to ever pursue surgery. Fast forward about 35 years, many of them spent overweight, and I had a problem that was really limiting my quality of life. My orthopedic doctor told me about the injections but said they are short-lived and have to be repeated frequently. This was 3 years ago and I'm not sure if that is still the case, but at the time I wanted RELIEF. I couldn't walk for any distance, I couldn't carry anything even slightly heavy or stand at the kitchen sink for any length of time without pain.

After the surgery I was diligent about the rehab and I really think that is the key. It is painful but you have to move the joint to avoid excess scar tissue forming during the healing process. My range of mobility is still improving three years after surgery. There are some things I have been told I should never do including jogging, skiing and tennis. I pretty much adhere to that because I don't want to mess up a good thing.

The initial recovery period was about 8 weeks, I think. The hardest part of recovery for me was getting off of the hydrocodone so I could go back to work. They really encouraged the pain killers, I guess because people won't work through the pain of rehabilitation without some relief. My range of mobility has continued to improve though. Just recently I realized that I can now bend the knee laterally and put my foot on top of my other knee. I didn't think I'd ever be able to do that again!

I wish you well in your quest for relief. I'm sure the stairs are a challenge and I know that the pain is NO FUN.

Good luck!

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Old 07-25-2008, 12:35 PM   #10
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Thanks for all of your input. I am still waiting to hear back from the doctor about the MRI results. I really DON'T want a knee replacement, which is why I'm willing to seek other options, including acupuncture and those injections.

But I also don't want to live on Advil for the rest of my life.

The worst part is that now, normal activities are getting painful. I can stand at the kitchen sink, but only wearing Crocs and standing on one of those dense foam mats. If I have to be at the stove or something, I move the mat. It really helps.

When I visit my grandson, they live on one floor, but it's up 2 flights of stairs, so I still have to climb. My son and his family live in a 2-story house, so if I go upstairs to help put the girls to bed, I have to climb one flight. And, as I mentioned, I live in a 3-level townhouse and there's nothing I can do about that.

At least I'll be at my sister's for a week. She lives in a one-level house, and the assisted living place Mom is in has an elevator. And the car I'll be driving is automatic. I'll get some good rest there!
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:59 PM   #11
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Since this forum doesn't seem to allow PM's I'm hoping someone here can offer a comparison of several forms of hyaluronic acid (my post below:

Hyaluronic acid for arthritis - comparison of several forms
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Old 08-23-2010, 07:05 AM   #12
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I hurt my knee a few years back. One of the things that really helped me was to strengthen the muscles around them. Especially the quads. Slow, easy bike riding has been almost miraculous for me. It's not weight-bearing, but it builds the upper let muscles like crazy. And with that extra strength, my knee seems to be more supported. It certainly doesn't hurt like it used to.
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minni View Post
Since this forum doesn't seem to allow PM's I'm hoping someone here can offer a comparison of several forms of hyaluronic acid (my post below:

Hyaluronic acid for arthritis - comparison of several forms
PM's are allowed after you've been a member 25 days and have 25 posts.
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