The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: higgs on June 22, 2018, 02:30:56 PM

Title: Severe knee pain lasting hours after hikes (had surgery in the past)
Post by: higgs on June 22, 2018, 02:30:56 PM
Hi guys,
Hope everyone is okay and in a good place with them knees!
Happy to have found a place where people with issues like mine can seek help online.
I confess I don't know what to expect from seeking help online, but I think that screams desperation...

I'll keep this straight to the point as much as possible. By the way, my name is Tiago Higgs and I am a Motion Designer (Sky Tv ads and stuff like that).
Age: 34
height: 1.79
weight: 70kg (154lbs)
Which knee: RIGHT side
ibuprofen allergy (great...)

I have always been very active, football, skateboard, hiking, gym and rock climbing (went by phases). Today I hike and rock climb.
Some 7/8 years ago, a pain on my right knee started to appear, nothing that would make me cry or I let it go.
Soon Skateboard and football had to be stopped as I felt the fast twisting motions and impact were too much AFTER doing it.

Situation 01
Fast forward, 4 years ago when simply strolling around Paris for a felt much worse. We're talking sight seeing with no weight on me.
come the 4th ish hour of stroll, the pain gradually comes in and by the 6th hour I HAVE to be in bed. It's cry time and my wife has to seek for ice.
I can't turn on my LEFT side in bed cause for that to happen, my RIGHT leg has to rotate over the left and in that process, my lower leg's weight pulling sideways on the knee (gravity) is unbearable...only if I have pillows supporting inside both legs it is possible.
It also feels like only when leg is extended I can actually breathe. Bending it is almost impossible.
Absolutely zero visible swelling.
The pain would last some serious 24h and the only way I could walk next day is limping with a knee brace. Taking regular pauses to sit.

This example repeated it self over while travelling in Jordan and other places.
It became a burden to me and also to my wife that is always the one chasing for ice in weird places while I am crying in bed for 8 hours.

Decided to get an MRI with NHS.
Meniscus tear on the outer side.

Waiting isn't my style, so I grabbed that MRI and sent it to a private clinic in Lithuania (this had a LOT of research. This clinic treats the basketball players from their A league which is the best in Europe)...this was mid December 2015.
Two weeks later January 2016 I was having an Arthroscopy. They shaved away the messy bits of meniscus that were moving around inside my knee.
Did rehab, knee balance and strengthening exercises and swimming 3x week for 3 months.
Situation 02
Went to Greenland 4 months after surgery.
I was REALLY afraid to hike. No long hikes so no pain until last day.
Last day I did a 6 hour ish very slow hike. Mostly road, no rocky ground or scrambles.
Pain came in as I am getting closer to hostel. I was so scared...felt like all my time and and rehab went to waste.
Reality is, pain came in...but not to tears level. I put ice on it and in roughly 3h it has recovered. I was really impressed...3h compared to those 24h of the past was something I thought I could take as a success. But wasn't too why was the pain there.

From this point, knee brace and hiking poles became my best friends.
I can hike twice as long with these accepting I'll take it to pain threshold.

Last and recent situation:
Hiked up Tryfan in Snowdonia, Wales. This was two weeks ago.
Forgot my knee brace...but had the poles.
Hike was very rocky, very steep and with scrambles. Just before summit the pain was already creeping in.
I took multiple stops to let it ease away which works quite well.
But when it was time to go downhill back to was just like the good ol'days. Total time in the mountain was around 7h
My hiking poles literally saved me from staying up there and get a rescue heli.
Getting inside my tent was excruciating as I couldn't bend it anymore and for another 6/8hours I had to stay belly up grunting and tearing and eventually fell asleep. I actually stayed almost 24h in my tent until it fully recovered. Only left to go to toilet limping.

Closing notes:
Learned from experience that when pain reaches peak level, the biggest trigger is side shifting of the knee and bending....but I'd say the side shifting it the worst (when turning in bed).
The knee NEVER swells.
I can not touch with my fingers where the pain is...can't trigger with touch....meaning it's on the inside. It's not even Left, right,'s feels middle to me.
Doctors seem to not understand why all the pull and push tests they do holding my knee...NEVER hurt me.
I NEVER feel pain at the gym...squatting and all that. I rock climb at a good level 3x per week and 4h sessions on Saturdays...ZERO pain comes from it (no knee braces).

The only time my knee goes off and takes all my hopes away is hiking. Hiking long distances up and down. And that's it.

I read hundreds of stories online, hikers knee, ITB etc etc...I don't hear anyone describing 8h of excruciating and debilitating pain that brings one to tears.
I can't possible believe that my meniscus needs shaving again 2 years later. That one is hard to think of and I can't shave it away every time.
Also I still had pain after shaving the first time.

The only approximate symptoms I read online are the Patella scratching up and down and sideways and irritating the knee...but I don't even want to focus on one possibility only as the knee is too complex.

At this point, I feel devastated cause I don't have the financial basis to use these very expensive private doctors in London and NHS will have me fixed god knows when...(my wife has debilitating bulging disks...I saw the process and how long it took)

So my lowest expectation here writing to you guys is to find someone that has the same problem I do because it haven't found yet...someone I can discuss patterns and possible fixes for this with.

Where I feel I am going next with this is, I want to do tons of leg work and build really strong quads to support my knee and see what that does on the next hike.

Thank you very much,

Title: Re: Severe knee pain lasting hours after hikes (had surgery in the past)
Post by: Vickster on June 22, 2018, 03:15:11 PM
If you have the financial wherewithal, and you suspect the patellofemoral joint, it might be worth spending £200 to see Clare Robertson at Parkside Wimbledon. She is pretty much the leading knee expert Physio in the U.K. and as such is extremely thorough and knowledgeable.
She’ll assess your whole gait. Knee pain can also be down to hip issues, ankles, feet. Have your full biomechanics been checked from hips to feet?

It could be the meniscus, once torn and trimmed a degenerate meniscus is highly susceptible to more damage

Good luck :)
Title: Re: Severe knee pain lasting hours after hikes (had surgery in the past)
Post by: higgs on June 22, 2018, 03:37:38 PM
Thank you, this could be the beginning of something.
There something different about investing your money on a recommented doctor than in a ramdom google find.
I am getting in touch with Dr. Clare.

Title: Re: Severe knee pain lasting hours after hikes (had surgery in the past)
Post by: Vickster on June 22, 2018, 03:44:21 PM
She’s not a Dr but a Consultant physiotherapist

Scroll through here or visit her website
Title: Re: Severe knee pain lasting hours after hikes (had surgery in the past)
Post by: higgs on June 22, 2018, 03:53:03 PM
ah okay. Noted.
I have little knowledge of these things.
Thank you again.
Title: Re: Severe knee pain lasting hours after hikes (had surgery in the past)
Post by: Vickster on June 22, 2018, 04:18:54 PM
No probs. Good luck with whatever you decide or do  :)