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Author Topic: Any ideas on injured/swollen knee??  (Read 4418 times)

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Offline nrw

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Any ideas on injured/swollen knee??
« on: May 29, 2008, 01:54:57 PM »
Hi all,

I found this forum whilst trying to find out what might be wrong with my knee & thought you guys may be able to help!

Background is, I have had knee problems since early teens (i'm now 27) - lot's of physio, scans & xrays never showed anything & I was told it was growing pains and maybe a rough patella. My knee never swelled, more of an aching pain at least 1 day a week & never a specific point of my knee.

Over the last 3mths it's seems to have gotten worse, lots of aching pain & a couple of times a week it will give way and force me off balance (from standing still). I was contemplating another visit to the docs when I injured it out horse-riding.....! I had stood up in the stirrups after a fast canter and my knee gave way onboard (it was quite a bouncy ride, might have had something to do with it). A few hours later it swelled up, and nearly 3 weeks later is still swelled up. Initially I could barely walk on it, and i'm still hobbling round in pain now. Any movement after being still for a while causes immense pain, i've also experienced pins & needles down my leg. It seems tender down the outside-side of the knee, I can't finger-point the exact place "in" the knee that's causing the pain, my knee seems most comfy pointing slightly inwards.

I dragged myself to the docs in week 2, was seen by a 1st year junior doctor who mentioned something about possible meniscal damage & referred me to a knee specialist - but I have another 2 week wait until I see him.... i'm not one for painkillers so im in agony, and am a little worried the swelling isn't going down. A support bandage doesn't seem to be doing much either.

Right, well i've babbled on for some time now............any opinions out there? They would be very gratefully received  ???

Thank you
NRW.
1993 - Teenage R knee pain, various scans, lots of physio, no real answer
2006 - MRI - still no answer
03/08 - Weak/unstable R knee, pain
06/08 - R Knee gave way horse-riding - swelling, pain
06/08 - Athroscopy concluded no damage
08/08 - Diagnosed inflammatory joint disease in R knee

gigi67

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Re: Any ideas on injured/swollen knee??
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2008, 02:02:04 PM »
r u elevating above you heart? icing for 20 minutes every 2 - 3 hours? taking an antiinflammatory like ibuprofen several times per day...do u have some crutches to piddle around on until the 2 wk gets here?...until you kow for sure its best to use crutches..you can pick them up at pharmacies for pretty low funds... i think i gave a 20 dollar bill for mine a few years ago...but its worth it to help the knee out until you know whats going on..some injuries require no weight bearing for a while....ya know so  dedicate yourself to icing faithfully for the newt 2 weeks...for sure the next several days and propping the leg up above the heart and antiinflammatory...and go get some crutches...better yet,,,have someone pick them up for you ;)

let us know how goes it in 2 weeks!

Offline nrw

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Re: Any ideas on injured/swollen knee??
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2008, 02:12:34 PM »
Um, no, no & no, how embarrassing, i'm not very good at looking after myself  :-[

I have been coming into work every day, I sit at a desk, so the only obstacle is the stairs (very difficult to get up and down) & walking to/fro to the car. I've taken some ibuprofen, but it doesn't seem to do anything so I kind of gave up on that. Anything stronger will make me sick and/or I won't be able to drive to work! The doc never suggested crutches so hadn't thought about that.

Any ideas what could be wrong or going on in there?

Thank you for the advice gigi67  :)
1993 - Teenage R knee pain, various scans, lots of physio, no real answer
2006 - MRI - still no answer
03/08 - Weak/unstable R knee, pain
06/08 - R Knee gave way horse-riding - swelling, pain
06/08 - Athroscopy concluded no damage
08/08 - Diagnosed inflammatory joint disease in R knee

gigi67

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Re: Any ideas on injured/swollen knee??
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2008, 09:25:06 PM »
ibuprofen has to be taken at regular intervals...to be effective and keep inflammation at bay...some have better results with alieve.
 my poison is ibuprofen combined with tylenol and sometimes a bit of coffee..thats what works for my pain to keep me from using up my percocet which i hoard for the bad days i know will come now n then...
so try the ibuprofen morning, afternoon and evening or switch to alieve...whatever works best for you...i do know that the meniscus can be esy to tear and if it swelled suddenly  after physical activity that would be what Id think of first...did u notice the knee " pop" while riding?? could it have turned pretty suddenly in the sadle?oh wait..have you rode horses for a long time???many years? some atheltic activities that cause the knees to be " bent" alot like with cycling for instance..can lead to overuse problems like Plica Syndrome or Osgood Schlatters...you say youve had pain for many years...perhaps one of those could be the culprit,,esp if you stand up in the saddle while riding alot...hmmm something to ask about whe you go to the OS...make a list of questions  anything you can think of between now n then..maybe other than the normal pain you feel....the extra could just be a ligament strain from this last ride??? just throwing out  possibilities but the truth is you arent gonna know until your apt...sorry BUT you can get other useful advice like:


for the stairs,,,going down someitmes you can sit and " sit" down the stairs one at a time...OR if you feel very comfortable with one of your workmates or have someone who can help: going down stair, have them go before you but facing you and while they hold on to the banister put your arms around their neck and lower yourself down to the stair below you.. for going up...some can sit and crawl backwards...my knee downs bend like that to squat that low..but is getting better recently....if the stairs have banister..use those as handles to lift yourslelf up one stair at a time or go down one at a time.. anyway dont forget that ice!!!!!! regularly!!!...and crutches are just a useful household item anyway...ive had them in my house for years..... and wouldnt have it any other way...especially after .. the last 4 broken bones ive had in the past  18 months...anyway thats it from me today... ;)
« Last Edit: May 29, 2008, 09:40:42 PM by gigi67 »

Offline nrw

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Re: Any ideas on injured/swollen knee??
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2008, 02:58:42 PM »
Thankyou for the advice! It's actually gotten a lot worse over-night and in to today, and some funny scattered bruising has come up?! (3 weeks tomorrow, I would have thought if it was going to bruise it would have done so almost immediately) Do you think it's worth going back to the docs or maybe a&e for an xray or scan instead of waiting 2 weeks?!

Humpf.

No, I didn't feel anything pop, but I've only been riding about a year, and when making a bouncy decscent down to a fast trot I don't think I would have noticed anything unless it was v.severe. It certainly didn't hurt enough to stop riding at the time, but then perhaps the adrenalin was kicking in!

Thanks again, have a great weekend anyway!  :)

1993 - Teenage R knee pain, various scans, lots of physio, no real answer
2006 - MRI - still no answer
03/08 - Weak/unstable R knee, pain
06/08 - R Knee gave way horse-riding - swelling, pain
06/08 - Athroscopy concluded no damage
08/08 - Diagnosed inflammatory joint disease in R knee

Offline nrw

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Re: Any ideas on injured/swollen knee??
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2008, 09:28:43 AM »
Morning....

Thought i'd just give a quick update... saw an orthopaedic surgeon yesterday (aka "knee guy") who has recommended an arthroscopy. I had xray/mri done 2 years ago, he didn't even want to repeat that, said there was no point. He wants to operate in 2 weeks, and depending on what he finds, repair when he's in there. But also, take a biopsy of the knee lining for the joint inflammatory disease team. So, hes not 100% that its mechanical, but unlikely to be arthritis.

He also said that the consent forms for this procedure are generally non-specific, due to the nature of the surgery and what they may find when they're in my knee.

Does this sound about right anybody?? Opinions welcome. Oh, 5 weeks on, knee still very swollen, still limping around. He said it wasn't the same "dry knee" that he saw 2 years ago. The reason he gave for not sending for an mri was that they sometimes show things that aren't there, and sometimes don't show things that are there.

 :)
1993 - Teenage R knee pain, various scans, lots of physio, no real answer
2006 - MRI - still no answer
03/08 - Weak/unstable R knee, pain
06/08 - R Knee gave way horse-riding - swelling, pain
06/08 - Athroscopy concluded no damage
08/08 - Diagnosed inflammatory joint disease in R knee

gigi67

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Re: Any ideas on injured/swollen knee??
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2008, 02:57:20 PM »
hmmm well any surgery is a big deal...and it seesm with the knee that one surgery cna ofetn lead to another or  a simple procedure can cause more pain..the knees dont seem to like to be bothered more than any other part of the body...it would seem the knees are very.." kneedy"  :P
hmmm im not sure about not doing another mri...it has been two years and alot can change...i have heard it mentioned about nightmare mess ups from mris from a couple of girls i lknow who are both nurses...they read them backwards and forget to " flip" things aorund in theire mind....so i dont altogether doubt what the doc said about Mris being uneccesary...a scope is relatively small incisions BUT things can go wrong even with a scope...did he explain that to you...my OS assisitant warned me that more damage can happen while scoping..ligaments and tendons can be damaged...just make sure your very informed before agreeing...what did he mean about the consent form???? he didnt want you to sign one???? no no...you should receive a consent form no matter what AND he should explain ALL possible things....even the negative ones.....surgery of any kind is always a personal choice only you can make but make and INFORMED decision so there are no regrets.

Offline nrw

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Re: arthroscopy on non-specific knee injury
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2008, 04:08:04 PM »
Thanks for reply gigi67, hhm your response is a little worrying! I think that the OS decided that there was no other way to treat my knee, as my previous mri didn't show anything I think he thought the best direct action would be to treat as soon as possible. There is a change in my knee from the previous 2 years, the collapse while horse-riding, but he said he didn't see the point in repeating the mri and prolonging the surgery. It made sense at the time. Obviously I wouldn't want to cause any further injury, but I myself, cannot see any other way forward - i've tried every other route already.

There is a consent form, but in the notes they gave me about the op it said that it is non-specific, so that the surgeon could try to repair or fix anything he might find without having to arrange another surgery. I just assumed this was the norm tbh.

The risks he explained were bleeding, other possible damage to knee bits (technical i know  :P) and infection....but after hmmm, nearly 12 years of knee pain, maybe it's a risk worth taking? Esp as my recent injury shows a definite weakness somewhere. I really, really, want to try to avoid arthritis later in life  :'(
1993 - Teenage R knee pain, various scans, lots of physio, no real answer
2006 - MRI - still no answer
03/08 - Weak/unstable R knee, pain
06/08 - R Knee gave way horse-riding - swelling, pain
06/08 - Athroscopy concluded no damage
08/08 - Diagnosed inflammatory joint disease in R knee

Offline Nettan

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Re: Any ideas on injured/swollen knee??
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2008, 04:18:42 PM »
Scopes are done every day in big amounts and as every procedure there can be risks, but also benefits.
If an Mri shows nothing, then you are in same spot that you are now. By doing a scope all problems will be discovered.
If you have questions or worries, talk with your OS so he knows. He should be there for you and help you out. And as he said, this is not the same knee as he saw 2 years ago.
I would definately go for the scope.
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.

gigi67

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Re: Any ideas on injured/swollen knee??
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2008, 07:23:08 PM »
okay he explained the risks and i guess i dint understand fully that you had investigated and were very informed...sorry...actually my OS mentioned a scope on me back in januray...i declined at the time cuz he had just been inside for hardware removal...BUT  5 months later...my knee is in sooo much pain and the pain is growing everyday it would seem...its on the inside of knee, underneath the patella, the back of the knee...the soft fatty area off below the knee on both side...it feels like something cold is drippng inside my knee...i posted  a " quiry" trying to get opinions about it but no one responded.. sooo i called my Os this morning and scheduled an apt...its been 5 months since i saw him...i imagine he will want to scope it.... im not sure what ill do at this point cuz im worried about my RSd being aggravated and spreading further..... BUT the pain is spreading and interfering with my walking when i had been doing soooo good and even walked at my sons wedding without a cane or crutch...which was my goal all year long and i made it but now ive had a major set back of some sort...not sure whats going on???
If you have exhausted everything else and been in pain that long...its worth considering. Whatver decision you feel you  will least regret....hate those.. ::)
I hope everythin turns out okay and whatever problems they may find will be fixed on youll be on your way!!! :D

Offline FormerlyActive

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Re: Any ideas on injured/swollen knee??
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2008, 07:58:58 PM »
It seems odd he wouldn't do an up to date Xray and MRI as both those could yield information which could indicate what the problem is, and two years can be a long time. But you also don't mention which country you are in and access, or health plans, or even cultural approachs can impact those things. A scope for diagnostic purposes sounds like a good thing, I do believe when they go in, they can see what is happening with more info than the Xrays and MRI.

However the risk is probably not the scope itself but that the Dr. might do something aggressive which you might not be prepared for or are not certain you want, for example an LR? Some doctors do these still regularly, others rarely do them. So if there are loose floating bits in there you would certainly want them sucked up, or torn things fixed, but perhaps you don't want anything fairly major procedurely done? Maybe ask him where he draws the line.

I guess I would think about what your own parameters are, your risk orientation, your trust in the Doctor, etc. and then try to talk with him/her about them. I don't know if this makes sense at all. I know when I had my first surgery I signed something similar and my parents were all freaked out about it, but I trusted the doctor fully and was sure he would do what was in my best interests at that time. I can't say the same re all doctors. Best wishes to you.
3/82 - Medial Synovial Plica removal both knees
9/89 - Lateral Release both knees
3/08 - Reinjury left knee hiking Asia Pac
5/08 - Miserable Malalignment diagnosis
4/08 - 9/08 Five doctors diff. opinions
7/08 - 02/09 - In PT, no chg.
4/09 - Dr. 6 opinion femur & tibia derotation together

Offline nrw

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Re: Any ideas on injured/swollen knee??
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2008, 10:25:29 AM »
Thanks guys. That definitely makes sense FormerlyActive - I need to speak with him to determine what hes expecting to find and how it will be treated, how far he will go in repair. I've only seen him twice, so only trust him as much as the next person would, but i'm sure he's more than capable. It didn't sound like he was going straight for the arthroscopy hammer and tongs to mangle my knee, it's very much diagnostic and hopefully a simple repair.

Have had 2x painful nights sleep, every time I turnover in bed it feels like I have to use all my strength to drag my knee over with me. I woke up this morning thinking that this scope can only be a good thing, and right now there really isn't any other option. Thinking positive!  :)

Will update you in a couple of weeks, hopefully this thread will be of help to anybody else suffering long-term....
1993 - Teenage R knee pain, various scans, lots of physio, no real answer
2006 - MRI - still no answer
03/08 - Weak/unstable R knee, pain
06/08 - R Knee gave way horse-riding - swelling, pain
06/08 - Athroscopy concluded no damage
08/08 - Diagnosed inflammatory joint disease in R knee

Offline eaglemom

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Re: Any ideas on injured/swollen knee??
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2008, 10:56:43 PM »
I'm just going to toss my two cents in here.  i'm not an os - however, mine has me taking 3 Advil 3x's a day for 2 weeks.  Yes, its way too much - however, you know it does seem to be working.  The whole thing is spacing it out so you have a constant amount in your system.

The other thing is that icing is good, but the real key, as has been said, is icing with the knee above the heart.  If you do use 1 crutch use in under the OPPOSITE arm as the injury.  Many people use them incorrectly then say they don't work.  The key is OPPOSITE side of injury.  Good luck.  Eagle

Offline nrw

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Re: Any ideas on injured/swollen knee??
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2008, 01:41:35 PM »
Hello.

So I had the scope....they found mechanically everything is OK (good I spose). However surgeon said there was a lot of debri that he took out, showed me the pics, lots of inflamed floating tissue/proteins?! He took a biopsy for the joint inflammatory team and sent me on my merry way. Swelling OK, pain not ok, not walking properly yet....using crutches to take the edge off so I can get about.

So not the most positive outcome, I was hoping for a quick (small) repair, seems I have a fairly long road ahead...........and I certainly won't be riding for quite some time *cancels October riding holiday*  :( :( :(

I can't work out why it would be any type of arthritis, as there's no obvious damage to any bones, cartlidge etc. I have not idea what it could be and what possible treatments are available to me  :(

Follow up app with OS in 5 weeks, will update more then I guess.  :)
1993 - Teenage R knee pain, various scans, lots of physio, no real answer
2006 - MRI - still no answer
03/08 - Weak/unstable R knee, pain
06/08 - R Knee gave way horse-riding - swelling, pain
06/08 - Athroscopy concluded no damage
08/08 - Diagnosed inflammatory joint disease in R knee

Offline queeny

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Re: Any ideas on injured/swollen knee??
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2008, 02:44:12 PM »
Has the OS sent you for physio?? Are you regularly taking ibuprofen and icing regulary and elevating to get rid of the swelling? Those last things are very important, it's not worth slacking on them.

As for horseriding, Ive sent my mare off to stud as she is hot, feisty and unpredictable which doesnt go well with a bad knee, but my OS says that riding isnt really bad for the knee. Unfortunately, my bad knee is my left one and I cant afford to twist it, so when I do get back on board, I'll be mounting from the off side. Jumping and galloping or anything in a forward seat is bad, and too much rising trot should be avoided, but other than that it's not too bad.

Ive just had an ACL reconstruction using hamstrings graft and my OS says I can get back on board after 6 weeks, and that he has even had a pro competing again after an ACLr after just 4 weeks.















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