The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: prettyinpinkljb on June 27, 2005, 07:17:56 AM

Title: Chronic Knee pain and skin sensitivity
Post by: prettyinpinkljb on June 27, 2005, 07:17:56 AM
I need help!  I am 21 and I have been dealing with a knee injury for 2 1/2 years.  The original injury occurred in January 2002, during an ice skating accident.  I was pushed from behind and fell directly on my left knee.  I got up, pretended to ignore the pain, and kept skating.  By that night, my knee looked like I had a tennis ball underneath my skin and above my knee cap.  I got anti-inflamatories from the doctor but the pain persisted.  A few months later, I went back to the doctor and she prescribed more anti-inflammatories.  I tried ignoring the pain, but it continued.  The skin just above my knee cap is very sensitive and swells at the slightest touch.  When my jeans rub against my knee, my knee turns red and sharp shooting pains in my knee are followed by tingling.  In August of 2003 I was told that I needed to strengthen my knee in order for it to heal.  In April of 2004 I began a strict daily workout schedule.  It was painful, but I ignored the pain.  In August of 2004 I was at the point where I could run and it only ached.  Then one day as I ran, it felt like there was something in my knee bouncing up and down. I stopped running immediately and a few days later I saw my doctor.  The running had irritated it.  This time the doctor referred me to an orthopedic surgeon to treat bursitis.  The orthopedic surgeon believed it was a problem with the "patella-femural" (or something like that) and he did x-rays and an MRI.  Both turned out fine.  So I was sent to physical therapy to stregthen my knee.  I also went back on anti-inflamatories.  The physical therapy made my knee worse until the pain got so bad I was on crutches.  After my insurance refused to pay for more physical therapy, I decided to try magnet therapy.  The magnets made my knee pain worse and I spent several weeks limping in pain.  I began taking the supplement MSM, but I didn't notice any changes.  My next stop was a chiropractor.  He straightened my back out nicely, but he couldn't heal my knee pain.  He recommended arthoscopy surgery.  He believes there is scar tissue in my knee.  So 6 weeks ago I went to a new orthopedic surgeon.  He did a poor examination of my knee (in my opinion) and diagnosed me to have a nerve disorder.  So I pointed out to him that my knee is swollen and very sensitive to the touch.  He ended up giving me a cortizone shot.  He said he thinks I had a bursa sac hemorage when I fell.  My pain is still here and the bruise from the shot has not gone away(it's been 6 weeks).  I am about to throw my arms in the air and give up!!!!  My chiropractor said that my knee is stable even though I have a lot of pain.  Mostly, the knee is very sensitive to the touch.  I have to avoid my dog's tail because his tail brushing against my knee sends me into a tantrum from sharp pain.  When I run I have "pins and needles" in my knee.  When I pull back the skin off my knee cap I can touch my knee without pain, but when the skin is over my knee, it's very painful to touch.  Please help if anyone knows where I should go from here! Thank you and God Bless!
Title: Re: Chronic Knee pain and skin sensitivity
Post by: Nettan on June 27, 2005, 07:26:23 AM
Hey !!

Welcome here !! You should go see your GP and egt a referal to a painmanagement doc or a painmanagement clinic to rule out if this is a nervedamage or not.
There have been a long time since your accient and 2 ortopeadic surgeons have looked at you and couldn't help. At a painmanagement clinic they have all sorts of docs, even OS.
There they should be able help you.
Wish you the best. Feel free IM if you have questions.
I have myself a tricky knee after slipping accident and it took ages until I were at painmanagemnetclinic to get a diagnose.

Hugs nettan  8)
Title: Re: Chronic Knee pain and skin sensitivity
Post by: Heather M. on June 27, 2005, 10:38:49 PM
Look up RSD or CRPS (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or Chronic Regional Pain Disorder).  You have classic signs of this very debilitating condition, so it should be ruled out before you proceed any further down the orthopedics route--as surgery can make the pain much worse!  The hyper-sensitivity you are describing is textbook RSD--does it also cause pain when you have ice on the area?  That is another sign.

If I were you, I would find a VERY good neurologist--preferrably one at an integrated pain management clinic or a large teaching or university hopsital that has the latest and greatest in the way of gadgets.  There are a few tests for RSD that are pretty definitive--one is called a QSART test, but it is not widely available.  I had mine done at the Mayo Clinic.  But even if you can't get a QSART test done, there are EMG's and nerve blocks and other diagnostic tests.  Finding out if you have nerve damage or a neurological condition would be the very first step, as it determines what your next steps will be.

After seeing the neurologist, you may definitely want to find a better orthopedic surgeon, one who is used to seeing a lot of 'referral' cases or tough problems with diagnostic challenges.  You may well have bursitis or some kind of mechanical knee problem going on, but it sounds like you have some additional problems as well.  If you want to post the region you live in, people here might be able to direct you to a good doctor to help.  It really does sound like you've got neurological issues going on, though, and it's very important to get these properly diagnosed.  Early intervention and treatment is the key.  You can find some information on RSD by searching this web page's bulletin board.  The soft tissue healing problems section has some posts from folks with RSD--Cari is one who posts a lot.

Title: Re: Chronic Knee pain and skin sensitivity
Post by: prettyinpinkljb on July 04, 2005, 09:44:12 AM
Thanks for the replies to my query.  I found the information helpful.  The only concern I have is about the post about RSD.  The last orthopedic surgeon I went to suggested RSD.  But why would I still have swelling in the area and be able to feel a "lump" under the skin over my knee cap?  Could the lumpiness just be swelling from irritated nerves in the area?  Thanks for your help and I look forward to hearing back from you.
Title: Re: Chronic Knee pain and skin sensitivity
Post by: Heather M. on July 04, 2005, 08:28:36 PM
Unfortunately, you can have both a neurological condition like RSD and a serious orthopedic problem at the same time.  RSD usually occurs in response to a severe trauma.  Many people here have developed RSD after repeated surgeries to deal with PFS.  So then they have to deal with the RSD in addtion to their serious mechanical problems; and the RSD complicates things tremendously, because if surgery is done without taking serious precautionary measures, you risk the spread of the RSD symptoms through the limb, and even to other limbs.

Several people have posted here about developing RSD after a severe blow to the knee (like car accident where knees meet dash or slipping on ice).  Something about the severe trauma of falling or taking a sharp blow directly on the knee can trigger this debilitating nerve condition.  The good news is that it can be treated to stop the spread and even reduce the symptoms to a very liveable level.  But the longer treatment is delayed, the more chance of RSD spreading.

You might want to visit and search on the term RSD and CRPS in the soft tissue healing problems section.

Title: Re: Chronic Knee pain and skin sensitivity
Post by: upset mom on July 09, 2005, 05:02:28 AM

Was just reading the posts on RSD.  They are trying to rule that out on my daughter.  Heather, this question is for you.  You seem to be familiar with RSD.  Is it possible for the knee to turn inward like my daughter's from RSD?  Don't know if you read my recent posts on our visit to New York HSS.  The doctor doesn't think it's RSD but wants to rule it out.  The doctor he referred my kid to is a pain/anestheologist.   Would that make him a neurologist??  Just curious.  From the little I now know about RSD it seems like it can be a condition that can either be healed quickly or continue on for many years.  Would appreciate your comments and will look into the site you wrote about.