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Author Topic: Need some advice please!  (Read 844 times)

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Offline newkneesplease

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Need some advice please!
« on: January 24, 2008, 10:10:59 AM »
Hi there-newby here so please be gentle! I wish I'd found this forum months ago....

Anyway, would be really grateful for a bit of advice. After 15-20 years of lots of general sport (rugby, running, skiing, mountain climibing-not football I hasten to add), I start getting a sore left knee. A particularly painful spot on the left tibial condyle-push down on it and you're scraping me off the ceiling. Plus general aching inside the joint, particularly after exercise.
So I see a consultant who sends me off for an MRI scan-which says, a bit of cartlidge wearing but nothing excessive for my age (36). Gives me a steroid injection and says 'go away and see how you get on'. Steroid has no effect so I go back and sends me for a technetium bone scan-which again, doesn't show up anything out of the ordinary. Dead end. Specialist says be careful and see how you get on.

I've started back on an exercise routine (gym based to reduce running impact-cycling, treadmill, cross-trainer, rower etc), which along with taking glucosamine/chondroitin, seems to have calmed things down a bit and it may be that working the knee might actually help it? But the pain is still there, lurking behind the scenes!

I'm a bit concerned because the same pain is now starting up in my right knee-tibial condoyle etc, and am wondering if he might have missed something or if there are any other tests which could be done. Would it be worth getting a second opinion or is damage fairly easy to spot?
I've had no one-off injuries which might have caused the damage...apart from a tibial nail put in my right leg when I broke it twelve years ago-I gather these go in through the knee, but this wouldn't explain the left knee pain or the fact I've had 10-12 years free of pain in the right knee since it was done. No swelling of locking either.

I've posted it in the general forum because I don't really know what might be causing the pain, or where? Compare to some of the horror stories I've read elsewhere on the forum, this seems relatively minor-but I'd be really grateful if anyone's been in the same boat and might have any advice.

Cheers for now

Graham
« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 10:13:44 AM by newkneesplease »

Offline kathat

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Re: Need some advice please!
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2008, 11:27:52 AM »
Hi Graham and welcome,

You are right when you say exercise seems to be helping the knees. By building up the muscles surrounding the knees then there is less load going through the knee bones and more going through the muscles. And there is better support in general for the knees too, if there is good strong musculature. Just keep the exercising to limits that your knees can tolerate. My PT says that if I ache for longer than 2 hours afterwards then I have done too much. He also says I should not feel pain (sharp as opposed to aching) during any exercise. So keep up the exercising!! If you are having a bad pain day then you should rest from full on exercise and just take your knees through stretches and range of motion stuff and maybe do soome basic strength work that puts no stress on the joint (straight leg raises, calf raises, anything that doesn't involve bending the knee under load - even the weight of your leg). Return to exercise once the pain has settled.

Regarding another opinion - it certainly can't hurt (look for an orthopaedic surgeon that specialises in knees). A specialist that says to go away and see how you go is a bit on the strange side. I would have expected you to at least have been referred to a physio to get a suitable exercise program, and maybe a follow up visit arranged so he can check that you're doing alright. I would find a physio who specialises in knees and arrange an appointment. Then you can get your alignment checked out and get some good exercise guides (as to what to avoid and what is really good). MRIs are not a definitive test - they can always miss something. If you get a second opinion then make sure you mention that BOTH knees are now painful, as something may show up on the other leg that could be a guideline to what could have been missed on the first one. It sounds like cartilage wear is probably your problem (based on the MRI) but it may be more extensive than the MRI showed. If things continue to be a problem then maybe you might be sent for an arthroscopy to give a better idea as to the extent of the cartilage damage. If the cartilage damage is only in one section of the knee (medial compartment or lateral compartment) then an unloader brace is one way to help relieve pain by redistributing the load away from the damaged compartment.

Anyway, good luck in your search for an answer. I hope this has helped a bit. Sorry it is so long! Keep us posted!

Kathy

Offline newkneesplease

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Re: Need some advice please!
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2008, 12:49:20 PM »
Hi Kathy

Many thanks for your advice-very much appreciated. I'm going skiing at Easter (glutton for knee punishment) so we'll see how that goes after a few more weeks of sensible exercise and glucosamine goes. Then perhaps see another specialist with my scans if things haven't started to improve.

Watch this space!

Graham















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