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Author Topic: Chronic Knee Pain  (Read 1955 times)

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Offline Jadeswan

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Chronic Knee Pain
« on: August 30, 2006, 08:09:21 PM »
My husband has had chronic knee pain for a little over four years. He was active duty military and injured his left knee during basic training. It seemed to heal well though and didn't give him problems for a while. He started to have some knee pain when he was in Korea and ran eight miles daily and climbed inumerable stairs. After he returned to the States, it gradually worsened until he could no longer pass his PT tests. It was especially difficult since he was a cook and spent as many as fourteen hours on his feet. He was passed from doctor to doctor in the military and since he rarely saw the same doctor, they never saw him fequently enough to make a diagnosis. His doctor recommended a medical discharge but it was denied and he was sent to Iraq. When his active duty contract expired he stilled owed the military four more years, either in the Individual Ready Reserve or the National Guard. He joined the Guard because the recruiter told him he would probably be sent to Iraq again if he joined the IRR. For a while his pain was better since he wasn't on his feet as much. Recently it has been getting worse even though he has a desk job. He is unable to run or perform other duties in the Guard so they required him to go to civilian doctor and get recommendations on what kind of limitations he should have. He recently got a government job and finally has health insurance so we had been talking about taking him to the doctor anyway. He went to a orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Beller, and he ordered an MRI. Since Dr. Beller was out of town after the MRI, he picked up the results himself. Another doctor had written the MRI report and said there was some abnormal fluid on both of his joints and that his left knee showed "increased signal intensity within the mid portion of the medial meiscus....it cannot be called a clear cut meniscal tear but it is statistically more likely to be torn there because of the segmental changes." We anxiously waited for his doctor to get back from vacation to help us understand what might be going on. In talking to his mom I discovered that she was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in junior high and his nine year old brother has also been diagnosed with osteoarthritis. He tried to pop his knee one evening and felt excruciating pain. He's not a complainer but he said it felt like he'd broken it and it was hanging by a thread. We planned to talk to the doctor about both of these issues and had many questions. We waited an hour and a half before he ever showed up for the appointment and the nurse told us he had forgotten the appointment until he called and reminded him. When he finally arrived, he did not greet either of us or apologize for being late for the appointment. He just said,"Your MRI shows nothing." We asked about the abnormal levels of fluid that the other doctor had written about. Dr Beller said,"There are no abnormal levels." I asked about the possibility of meniscus tearing in the future and Dr. Beller apparently misunderstood me because he said, "There is no meniscus tear." He then said,"You should return to the Guard with no physical limitations whatsoever." I left the room crying because we had put so much hope towards this appointment.
   After I left my husband told me he said,"Okay," and waited for Dr. Beller to offer any other options or even to at least offer him pain medication.
   Dr Beller just said,"Okay, that's it," and got up and left. The entire time lasted between three and five minutes.
   My husband is still in terrible pain. It is especially bad in the evenings and sometimes he takes a wrong step and cries out. He says he hates being a coward in front of me. He can't even stand up to shower or brush his teeth and shave anymore. His walk is a painful limp. I feel at my wits end. We've talked about going to another doctor but I don't know if I can go through it again if the doctor doesn't believe he's in pain, as apparently Dr. Beller didn't. I'm not sure what questions I have. I really just appreciate if anyone took the time to read all this. I don't know whether we should go to another doctor and if so, what kind. It hurts so much to see my husband in so much pain and not be able to do anything.

Offline Nettan

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Re: Chronic Knee Pain
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2006, 09:31:13 PM »
This doctor didn't treat either you or your husband right. He should really apologize for his behaviour against you. I would recommend you to go to this website and see if there are any listed docs where you live or near. Another thing which might be useful is to get the militairy to help you find a doc which is good.
Make also sure fetch the Mri report and all other papers from this doc and bring it with you.
No way your husband should be feeling this bad and not getting any help.
Where are you living...maybe someone here can recommend a good doc for you ?
Wish I could be more helpful.

HUGS NETTAN  8)
Surgery 6 times left knee torn meniscus, RSDS,chondromalacia, nervdamage cause constant nervpain,chronic inflamm.
Spinaldamage wheeler 100%.
Right knee damaged aug-06, use brace surgery 4/9-07.LCL tear.

Offline Jadeswan

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Re: Chronic Knee Pain
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2006, 09:44:40 PM »
   Thank you so much for the reply. I can't tell you how much it helps just to talk about this and have somebody answer sympathetically. I did write a letter to the hospital administrator about the doctor. I hope maybe something can be done to prevent this doctor from treating other patients this way. Thankfully, we got a copy of the MRI upon recommendation of the nurse. If only the doctor had been as kind and conscientious as the nurse, we would either know what is wrong already or at least have some options. The nurse sat and talked with us for a while, recommended getting a second opinion, and gave me name of the hospital admin.
    The only way the military would help is if he went to the VA hospital. We already tried that and the doctor he saw there told him they would never know what is wrong with his knees. At least he offered him pain medication and wrote a note saying he shouldn't run. If things were as they should be, the military would probably be our best option.
   We live in the US, in Oklahoma, near enough to OKC we could visit a doctor there. I may talk to friends and see if any of them have recommendations. I want to know that the doctor we go to is going to be compassionate before we go this time.
   Thanks again for answering. It was more help than you realize.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2006, 09:46:25 PM by Jadeswan »

Offline Nettan

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Re: Chronic Knee Pain
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2006, 09:51:18 PM »
I think you do the right thing, because going around like he have it isn't fair to him.
I hope you find someone good. Unfortunately I don't know any docs in US, I'm from Sweden.
Send your husband hello and best wishes from me. Was thinking of...has he tried to ice down the knee and also elevate as much as possible ? If not try that.

HUGS NETTAN  8)
Surgery 6 times left knee torn meniscus, RSDS,chondromalacia, nervdamage cause constant nervpain,chronic inflamm.
Spinaldamage wheeler 100%.
Right knee damaged aug-06, use brace surgery 4/9-07.LCL tear.

Offline Jadeswan

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Re: Chronic Knee Pain
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2006, 09:59:16 PM »
It's cool that you're from Sweden. I had a Swedish penpal when I was a teenager and from the photos he sent me it's an amazingly beautiful country. But you're right---traveling to Sweden from the US for a doctor's visit might be a bit far. :)

Thank you for the suggestions about ice and elevation. He has tried that and it does seem to help some. I'll pass on your good wishes. He'll appreciate that.

Offline emphatic

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Re: Chronic Knee Pain
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2006, 06:08:49 AM »
I"m sorry you're going through this... it's really tough.

Here's some places for you to start. I highly recommend calling and talking to them, asking who would be the best doctor for him to see. They know which of their doctors specialize in knee patients.

University of Oklahoma Orthopedic Surgery
http://www.ouphysicians.com/specialties/adult/Orthopedics/
There is a "meet our docs" button on the page. I clicked through and thought 4 docs might be possibles for you: Ertl, Pasque, Tompkins, and White.

Oklahoma Sports Science & Orthopedics
http://www.timenet-solutions.net/osso/
Click on Physicians on the left to see a long list. Click on a name to read a short biography.

Bone & Joint Hospital
http://www.boneandjoint.com/internet/home/boneandjoint.nsf

Please keep in mind that I have no idea whether any of these doctors is the one for you. I'm just providing information that I believe is a good place to start. Perhaps someone who lives in the areas (I'm in CO) will wander by and know one of these doctors and offer a more personal opinion.

Good luck... I hope you find someone!

Meg

Offline Jadeswan

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Re: Chronic Knee Pain
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2006, 03:04:48 PM »
Wow, thank you for your time and help. I appreciate it a lot. I will check out those sites. Thank you for giving me a place to start.

Offline Janet

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Re: Chronic Knee Pain
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2006, 01:27:48 AM »
Sorry you got brushed off by the doctors. Unfortunately, sometimes that happens. But it *does not* mean nothing is wrong! It just means that doctor was able to help. Maybe he was having a bad day and wasn't interested. Maybe he doesn't treat patients with this problem. Maybe it's not clear cut and he doesn't have the proper knowledge. Or maybe he was just a jerk!

Anyway, it's obvious something is wrong with your husband's knee. Don't give up!! It's not uncommon to have to see more than one doctor before you find one that is interested/knowledgeable/able to help. My problems were completely different than your husband's, but it took me four doctors to find the one who could finally help me.

Since you think it might be a meniscus problem, it shouldn't be too hard to find someone who can give him a good, thorough exam. Remember, MRIs are just one part of the diagnostic process. They can give false positive (or false negative) results. They don't replace a good exam and history. That's why it's important to find a doctor who will take the time to look at the entire picture.

Good luck. I hope you can find an OS who will take an interest in your husband's case. There really are doctors out there....some of them look for challenging/interesting cases!

Janet
Torn quad tendon repair & VMO advancement 4/99, MUA with LOA 10/99, Patella baja and arthrofibrosis, LR & medial release & LOA 5/01, LOA & chondroplasty 6/03,TKR on 11/06, MUA 12/06. From perfect knees to a TKR in 7 years, all from a fall on a wet floor...and early undiagnosed scar tissue.

Offline Jadeswan

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Re: Chronic Knee Pain
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2006, 08:52:17 PM »
Thank you for your reply. We will keep on trying to find a doctor who can help us, even though sometimes it doesn't feel as if there's one out there. I'm glad you were finally able to find one. It's encouraging to know they are out there somewhere. :P I'm following up a couple of leads right now and hopefully we'll be able to make another appointment soon.

On a positive note, I bought him some Glucosamine Chondroiton MSM yesterday and he was willing to start trying it. :) I also bought him a cool dragon cane a couple of days ago and he has been using it. He says it helps quite a bit.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2006, 08:58:15 PM by Jadeswan »

Offline Nettan

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Re: Chronic Knee Pain
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2006, 08:58:42 PM »
Glad to hear that you're hanging in both of you and not giving up on this.
There is always another doc if one can't help, it's just a matter of time to find the right one. I have one leg I can't use at all since 9 years with nerve damage and RSD in, but as long as I live I will never give up on this leg..sooner or further I will meet someone who can help me.
So stay calm and have your head high..you will find the right one I'm sure.

HUGS NETTAN  8)
Surgery 6 times left knee torn meniscus, RSDS,chondromalacia, nervdamage cause constant nervpain,chronic inflamm.
Spinaldamage wheeler 100%.
Right knee damaged aug-06, use brace surgery 4/9-07.LCL tear.

Offline Jadeswan

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Re: Chronic Knee Pain
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2006, 09:13:38 PM »
I'm really sorry about your leg, Nettan, and I hope that you do find someone who can help with it. Thank you for being an example of keeping on trying. *hugs*















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