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Author Topic: My knee and joint symptoms (long)  (Read 5324 times)

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Offline Say

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My knee and joint symptoms (long)
« on: September 18, 2002, 03:20:44 AM »
(An accident with a bottle of uice has killed my j and ' keys - sorry about that . . .)

Okay, this might be a long one, so hold on . . . first off, my Knee History:

Starting at age 5 or earlier, my knees started locking. Basically, every time I knelt, at least one knee would lock. Yes, I do mean every single time. The sensation was that I could bend my knees more, but not straighten them. If I tried to straighten them, there was extreme pain (the most pain Ive ever felt, ever) and a sensation like there was a fishhook inside the back of my knee, pulling. I also noticed that my ligaments (the two visible at the back of the knee that look a little like chicken bones . . . lateral collateral ligaments?) felt like they were umping in and out of place.

Anyway, I got over that by - you guessed it - not kneeling. My family has had some very bad experiences with doctors (most of them mine) and so we didnt do much to get it diagnosed - especially as I was once told, in as many words, that I made it all up to get attention. I found a first aid book once, and the description of "locked cartileges" was *exactly* what Id been feeling (locked meniscus, in today;s terms).

There were only two ways to fix it - 1) wait, which sometimes took hours, or 2) carefully hold my knee steady, and move my hip, ankle and toes, in an attempt to loosen things up. Sometimes that worked, sometimes it didnt - either way it was painful, because my knee would always get moved a little bit. Also, if I felt them *about* to lock, straightening quickly would stop it happening.

Anyway, by the time I was 11 or so Id finally stopped kneeling - I havent knelt once since (doing martial arts was fun, me trying to explain why I didnt kneel like everyone else). Since then my knee has locked like that only once - I was climbing over a chair and I bent my knee in the process. My brother said he heard a loud pop at the time. I still get the "about to lock" feeling though, which always scares the hell out of me.

Anyway, around about the age of 12, other problems developed. My knees began to get very, very stiff if they stayed still for too long. One particular time, I was watching TV for a couple of hours, and when I tried to stand I ust couldnt.

My knees had basically locked still. They were painful, but its quite hard to describe exactly how - the pain was intense, but non-localised. Slight movement didnt hurt, but trying to actually straighten them did. They could still take weight (although I looked kinda funny hobbling around). Anyway, the next day I got some vey basic knee supports, but even with them I couldnt walk properly for about 3 weeks (a lot of missed school), and I need them to walk with for maybe a month afterwards. It was two or three months before I could cross my legs again without pain.

I had general soreness and pain for the next few years, but the first real killer happened when I was 16. I was on
holiday with my family in London, and in the middle of me walking around, my knees basically seized up. I couldnt get them quite straight, I could hardly bend them, and I was in constant pain - much like when they locked a few years before. When we got home (luckily that was the last day) I decided to see a doctor.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2007, 06:59:40 PM by The KNEEguru »

Offline Say

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Re: My knee and oint symptoms (long) (part 2)
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2002, 03:24:06 AM »
I had a thorough (and very painful) physical exam, which showed up very little, other than that my kneecaps seem to sit a bit too far to the "outside" of my leg. The doctor had no idea, and she sent me to an osteologist. When I saw him, he seemed more worried about talking to the medical students with him than talking to me, and had absolutely no comments at all. My doctor then decided I had what she called "fluffiness behind the knee cap" - she never gave an actual name. I was then sent for some x-rays - they came back "satisfactory", and as far as my doctor was concerned, that was the end of that.

I spent a good bit of money seeing a private knee surgeon - allegedly one of the best in the UK - who told me that he could operate to put my kneecaps more centrally, but it would cost 6000 a knee and probably wouldnt work anyway. As far as he was concerned, that was that.

I then got referred to a physio, whos idea of treatment was to strap my knees up with super-strong glue and tape in such a way that I could hardly bend them and the kneecaps were in agony, and when I complained about pain, she said "No, that doesnt hurt." She also gave me some kind of heat treatment on one knee. She asked if it hurt beforehand - I said no - and when afterwards I said my knee still wasnt sore, she insisted that meant the treatment was working. Around about the time I discovered she was discussing my case with her neighbours (one of her neighbours taught at my school) I hobbled away, never to come back.

I was referred to a podiatrist - he (and his girlfriend, who worked with him - they liked to finish each others sentences) said I had a slight "curvature of the shin bone" and fallen arches (amazingly, no-one had ever noticed that before) and arch supports would help. All the arch supports did was hurt my feet, and had no effect at all on my knees. When I was seeing them, my knees locked up while I was at the cinema (basically set solid, as they are prone to do if Im sitting still in cinemas, theatres, planes, or whatever), so I asked them about it. First the guy said "No, knees dont do that" (so nice to know), then, when I persisted, he said first that I had "flu in the knees" (??) and then that I was dehydrated from eating salty popcorn. And, of course, that his Arch Supports of Death would fix everything.

One semi-decent doctor at my practice gave me another exam, and he basically said he didnt know what was wrong, but gave me some prescription NSAI gel, Feldene. It helps my hands (of which more later), but does nothing at all to my knees.

Around about then, when I was 17, I gave up, and decided I could take painkillers and strap my knees up myself, because medics only cost money, made things worse, and put me through enormous stress.

Offline Say

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Re: My knee and oint symptoms (long)
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2002, 03:25:48 AM »
However, a few months after that, I got a crack on the hip playing hockey (Im a goalie - tell that to a doc and they assume I have a sports inury, which drives me nuts). I think I got a hairline fracture of my hip - damn thing hurt like hell and I couldnt walk properly for months - but I didnt see a doctor because I thought the fools would be no help. Problem is, that (left) hip never really recovered, and is now in almost constant pain - a stabbing or tearing pain. If I sleep on my right side, it feels like the hip is going to tear right out . . . so I dont sleep on my right side. Possibly as a result of that, my *right* hip started going the same way, and often has the same stabbing/tearing pain. A lot of the time when I walk, it also feels like one or both hips are going to pop right out.

In the last couple of years, other oints have started to get bad - my ankles now have irregular but frequent pain, that feels a bit like theyre being pulled out of shape; my left shoulder is in almost constant pain (thats the shoulder I usually sleep on) and I can hear crunching from it; my left elbow has irregular but frequent stabbing pain in it, and my neck has pain and crunching noises. My hands also have a lot of pain (usually a burning sensation), especially from writing (not typing, thankfully), and my thumbs are on the verge of becomming unusable.

Otherwise, Im an active 21 year old with good muscle strength and poor cardio (compared to the rest of my hockey team, anyway). I am very tired a lot of the time - I can easily sleep for 12 hours, and regardless of how little or much I sleep, I wake up more tired than when I went to bed. I had a lot of childhood illnesses, including a very serious (but undiagnosed - leukaemia was the best guess, but tests were negative) disease when I was 3, which I think damaged my immune system and metabolism (I usually have zero appetite and have to remind myself to eat). Finally, I sometimes get an intense, non-localised pain in one or both legs. Usually it starts at hip height and goes all the way down. The feeling is one of intense compression - like every bone, muscle, vein, every *cell* is being compressed in all three dimensions. Sometimes eating a lot of salt reduces the pain; a cold draft always makes it worse. It can last anything from 30 minutes to a week, without a break. When I was a kid that happened in both legs every single night - now its ust a couple of times a month.

So, Im going back to a doctor soon, because much as I hate them and have only ever experienced incompetence from them, my oints are definitely getting worse, and Im in constant pain which is making my life hell. The last time I saw a doctor about my sleepiness, he gave me blood tests. When they (including an RA factor test) came back negative, he said he wanted to put me on antidepressants . . . even though Im not depressed (Apparently that doctor doesnt know that 30% of people with rheumatoid arthritis dont have the RA factor in their blood). So thats basically what Im dealing with.

If anyone has *any* ideas as to what might be wrong with me, theyd be greatly appreciated . . . also ideas of what to say to my doctor, what to ask her, how to convincingly moan so that she gives me morphine . . . some moral support as I try to find a doctor who has at least *some* clue . . . anything.

So yeah . . . and sorry I went on a bit ;-)

Offline wriggley

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Re: My knee and oint symptoms (long)
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2002, 03:39:52 AM »
I told you this site was good. It is pretty cool when everybody has similar experiences.

I can varifiy this post as myself and say have been mates for years with equally dodgy knees and other stuff too.  She isnt exagerating

wriggley
Paraplegic(inc. L5) due to a spinal cord bleed along with previous knee and hypermobility problems

Offline Say

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Re: My knee and oint symptoms (long)
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2002, 03:54:02 AM »
Yo, Wriggs - yes, good recommendation, the forums here are excellent and Ive been combing through them to try to find anything that might apply to me.

And heh, I wish I was exagerrating - if anything, Im leaving stuff out.

Offline Helen

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Re: My knee and oint symptoms (long)
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2002, 05:10:57 PM »
Hi

Just wanted to say welcome to the site. Have you tried dismantling your keyboard and cleaning all the keys with nail varnish remover? Ive done this a lot. Kids, computers and juice dont mix. My hubby actually washed a keyboard under the tap, left it to dry and it worked perfectly. I dont recommend that though.

As for the knees and everything else, I sympathise whole heartedly. Its grotty having all that pain and nobody ever listening or trying to help. Keep trying, eventually you will get somewhere. I had tests for RA 5 years ago that  came back negative and Im still suffering now, so I know how frustrating it is.

Keep posting, sometimes it helps just to know someone out there knows how you're feeling.
Helen
04/07/02 RL - patella tendon realignment, LR and meniscus trimmed. RSD set up home shortly afterwards....typical.

Offline tlaine

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Re: My knee and oint symptoms (long)
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2002, 08:01:48 PM »
This might not be a popular response, but if I were you I'd find a good homeopath and go that route. As a person that has studied homeopathy extensively over the past few years, I couldn't help but see that your case is a good candidate. I would print out what you wrote here and use it to interview a potential Dr. of Homeopathy. Because your complaints are chronic, systemic and long-standing, I think you might have success with this type of treatment that will look at your symptoms holistically and LISTEN to you!! It sounds like your problems are not a matter of fixing this part or that part, but something is out of balance in your body and needs to be addressed. If you have any questions, please ask. I am hoping that you find the help that you need.

Offline Say

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Re: My knee and oint symptoms (long)
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2002, 08:17:55 PM »
I used to have an excellent homeopath, but he died a few years ago and myself and my family havent been able to find another good one.

Im generally against using homeopathy to treat myself for various reasons . . .

1) Homeopathic treatments have always had a much lower success on me than than the rest of my family. The only things that actually work on me (of various over-the-counter and "prescribed" remedies) are nux vom (amazing hangover cure) and arnica - and Im not sure about the arnica.

2) I would only see a homeopath who was also a qualified medical doctor. My former one knew when to say "Dude, you need antibiotics" or "dude, you need surgery" and could give referrals. Theres no way Id see a homeopath who doesnt have the medical knowledge to diagnose things better treated with conventional medicine . . . and those are few and far between.

3) udging by the noises various oints make, and the actual shape of my knees, shins, and ankles, I have some pretty intense mechanical problems. Homeopathy cant straighten a bone or replace lost cartilege.

So yes, its something Ive considered, but I think conventional medicine is the best (re)starting point. Personally, I think that I was born with both a tendency to some sort of oint problem (RA, perhaps?) that was accentuated by my Mystery Virus when I was a kid, and appeared first in my knees because of the infamous shin curvature.

But I dont know . . . actually, apart from swelling, I am pretty much a textbook case of RA. The two times Ive been tested, though, RA factors been negative and the doctors didnt seem to know its not always there anyway. That, to me, isnt a failing with conventional medicine - its simple lack of knowledge on the part of two Idiot Doctors (TM).

Ahh, if only the Doctor from Voyager had a practice here . . .

Offline tlaine

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Re: My knee and oint symptoms (long)
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2002, 08:30:15 PM »
I agree with you on most of your points. The main problem I've had with homeopathy is actually finding one who is competent and know when allopathy is the preferred course of medicine.

I realize that many of your problems are anatomical and need to be addressed by an OS, but the theory that homeopathy works on is that if over the years, these problems are not addressed or just suppressed with drugs, then the disease process is driven deeper into the body. I couldn't help from reading your story to see this process taking place. It sounds like what started as an anatomical problem has been exacerbated by immune-system issues.

Anyway, I hope you find someone who can help you. I realize that homeopathy isn't for everyone, but I have had much success as has much of my family with issues that regular physicians (allopaths) can't address or don't understand. I understand your frustration and hope you find a resolution soon. Take care!















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