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Offline maryc

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What does OA feel like?
« on: July 30, 2008, 04:30:09 AM »
This may sound strange, but what does OA feel like?  Since my fall I have been told that I will probably get OA.  What are the symptoms? What should I watch out for?  Is the pain stabbing? Burning?  Achy? Pinching? Stiffness?
8/4/07 fell
8/5 diagnosed TPF
8/6 surgery plate and 6 screws
8/12 out of hospital NWM
8/21 staples removed
9/18 OS appt - WBAT with crutches
10/10 - WBAT with cane
10/27 - back to work w/cane
12/26 - no cane, slight limp when tired
1/25/08 - released from PT, no limp
2/3/09 - Released by OS

Offline heather rae

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Re: What does OA feel like?
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2008, 05:26:36 AM »
Mary:

I have recently been diagnosed with patellofemoral arthritis. It basically feels like an animal trap on my knee. It feels tight/rigid/painful pressure. Behind the kneecap aches. That part will keep me awake at night. My ROM is good so, you would think it would feel loose. Nope! I have maltracking issues now, too. Lots of funky noises like grinding as I move through ROM. That hurts if moved too fast. The pain is more like stabbing with quad tightening exercises all the way around the kneecap itself and underneath. Lots of continued inflammation, too. So, that's my 2 cents. There's also jam packed info on the community bulletin, too.

Good luck! I have yet to find something that really works for the pain. Dietary modifications and supplements may help you. Exercise to strengthen the muscles and taking care not to over stress the joint is most important.

Heather


5/10/07- Comminuted-20 frag., displaced L patella Fx
5/15/07- ORIF L patella, Bledsoe brace, crutches
7/07- PT 3X/week
8/07- Brace off, ambulate without crutches
9/27/07- Hardware removal, MUA, crutches x 8 wks 
6/08- J-brace for lateral maltracking, Cont. PT
8/08- Referred to soft tissue OS

Offline jathib

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Re: What does OA feel like?
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2008, 12:58:22 PM »
It just aches, like a toothace. But so do a lot of other injuries so it's hard to tell OA from anything else. You can also have it without even knowing it. My mother found out she had OA in her toes after getting x-rays in her foot for something else. They asked if she was in a lot of pain because they looked horrible. She said she had no pain whatsoever.

When was your injury? It can take years for OA to develop. It's not something that happens overnight.

Offline maryc

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Re: What does OA feel like?
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2008, 05:49:33 PM »
I'm coming up on my 1 year anniversary - my injury was 8/4/08.
8/4/07 fell
8/5 diagnosed TPF
8/6 surgery plate and 6 screws
8/12 out of hospital NWM
8/21 staples removed
9/18 OS appt - WBAT with crutches
10/10 - WBAT with cane
10/27 - back to work w/cane
12/26 - no cane, slight limp when tired
1/25/08 - released from PT, no limp
2/3/09 - Released by OS

Offline heather rae

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Re: What does OA feel like?
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2008, 06:40:14 PM »
Mary:

When do you next see the OS? Do you have any recent X-rays. Did they tell you that the cartilage is disrupted? Mine said he could see obvious cartilage damage during my surgeries, but as you continue to wear/tear it does get worse over time. The joint can actually become deformed. I think you meant 8/07. I am just 3 months behind you in being injured in 5/07. I was diagnosed with PF arthritis last month. I was already well aware of it, based on my symptoms, months before that. The OS just reaffirmed what I already knew.

Often times the X-rays really don't give them alot of detail, either. Direct visualization sometimes is much better. Probably depends on where the damage is and the extent of it. Just been referred out to see another OS who specailizes in that area. Sometimes scar tissue can even be more problematic as it can form in various places. What kinds of symtoms are you having? If they are bothersome, maybe you might want to schedule an appt. Take Care!  ;D

Heather
5/10/07- Comminuted-20 frag., displaced L patella Fx
5/15/07- ORIF L patella, Bledsoe brace, crutches
7/07- PT 3X/week
8/07- Brace off, ambulate without crutches
9/27/07- Hardware removal, MUA, crutches x 8 wks 
6/08- J-brace for lateral maltracking, Cont. PT
8/08- Referred to soft tissue OS

Offline maryc

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Re: What does OA feel like?
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2008, 07:19:18 PM »
Heather - you're right I meant '07 not '08.  I see my OS sometime is Sept.  At my last appointment (Feb) I had standing xrays of both knees and he indicated that OA would probably be in my future.  He said we wouldn't do xrays for my Sept appointment unless I was in pain.  I'm not in pain (just occasional twinges). I think as a result of my original TPF I'm more concious of anything to do with my knees, so I'm just trying to figure out what I should be watching for.
8/4/07 fell
8/5 diagnosed TPF
8/6 surgery plate and 6 screws
8/12 out of hospital NWM
8/21 staples removed
9/18 OS appt - WBAT with crutches
10/10 - WBAT with cane
10/27 - back to work w/cane
12/26 - no cane, slight limp when tired
1/25/08 - released from PT, no limp
2/3/09 - Released by OS

Offline heather rae

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Re: What does OA feel like?
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2008, 12:19:32 PM »
Mary:

You are very lucky in the pain department. Never knew what REAL pain was until 14 1/2 months ago. It just doesn't want to leave me alone. Are you still doing PT exercises?  Do you take anything like a glucosamine/chondroitin compound? So, are you mostly able to do anything you want. Walking pain free?

Good luck with your Sept. appt. Seems like they've spaced yours out a bit. I've had to see my OS every month since I was injured. Then again, I finally just graduated to a step-down PT program. Not quite sure what kind of tests the new OS will want to do. Probably an MRI. I don't blame you, if the OS said you're a likely candidate for OA, I'd want to know everything about it, too. I do everything I can to keep it from getting worse. As I am in my 30's, I don't want to be crippled by 40. Knees are just nasty to work with.

Have a good day,

Heather
5/10/07- Comminuted-20 frag., displaced L patella Fx
5/15/07- ORIF L patella, Bledsoe brace, crutches
7/07- PT 3X/week
8/07- Brace off, ambulate without crutches
9/27/07- Hardware removal, MUA, crutches x 8 wks 
6/08- J-brace for lateral maltracking, Cont. PT
8/08- Referred to soft tissue OS

Offline maryc

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Re: What does OA feel like?
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2008, 04:50:33 PM »
Heather - Yes, I am really lucky.  My recovery from my TPF has been about as smooth as possible for an injury such as this.  I do about 15 min to 1/2 hour worth of exercises first thing in the morning mostly SLRs, static quads and some light hand weights and stretches.  I also do cardio and weights 2X a weeks and try to get to my aquarobics at least once a week.  I'm taking glucosamine/chondroitin, according to my OS it can't hurt and I may be one of those that it helps.  I can do almost everythng I need to except kneel on my bad knee without a pillow under it, and slopes are still an issue.
I am pain free for the most part, other than the minor aches and pains of getting older (I'm 57).  That's my main reason for asking this question.  I want to be able to distinguish between my "age pains" and anything that may be a signal that OA is taking hold.

Sending healing rays your way
8/4/07 fell
8/5 diagnosed TPF
8/6 surgery plate and 6 screws
8/12 out of hospital NWM
8/21 staples removed
9/18 OS appt - WBAT with crutches
10/10 - WBAT with cane
10/27 - back to work w/cane
12/26 - no cane, slight limp when tired
1/25/08 - released from PT, no limp
2/3/09 - Released by OS

Offline heather rae

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Re: What does OA feel like?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2008, 08:46:38 PM »
Mary:

Thank you for the Healing Rays!! We all need some of those  ;D Wow! If you can do cardio and aerobics, you really ARE making progress. I'm amazed! I was trying to get a real cardio workout on the quad slide board the other day. This silly leg is so weak yet, I can't my pulse above 110 bpm. It's probably a good thing that we can't kneel because I think our knees are telling us that's the wrong thing to do, anyway. Very hard on them. Deep squatting is out of the question for a long time too, I think.

You seem to be doing so well, maybe you really are one of those people that has good results with the supplements. I took them for months, and didn't see a difference. I wanted to re-start them as my other knee is giving me trouble, too. I see a massage therapist who works out of a chiropractic office. Don't know if it was just a hoax from the chiropractor when I asked what supplements he carried but, he said that if I purchased mine in a store, then I may as well not be taking anything. He said glucosamine has a short shelf life. Have you ever heard of that? Think they might be scamming for money because they keep trying to get me to do chiropractic appts, too. I hurt my knee, not my back?  ??? He also has a machine that supposedly gives you results on your total health status. Not sure what that includes?

I'm going to ask my (trusted) pharmacist for his input about the glucosamine compounds and I'll let you know what he says, O.K. I'm sorry you have other pains, too. Maybe you can keep it under wraps with your exercise and joint supps. Taking Calcium and Vit D, too? No more broken bones for us, right? If you like fish, it's one of the best dietary supps!!  :D My mother is 3 years older than you and she has started having "sympathy" pains for me in her knees. She's going to the gym now, too.  ;D Think you're doing all the "right" things, too. Have you ever tried water aerobics? Take Care! Keep posted with your progress, o.k. Let you know what I find out.

Heather!!  ;D
5/10/07- Comminuted-20 frag., displaced L patella Fx
5/15/07- ORIF L patella, Bledsoe brace, crutches
7/07- PT 3X/week
8/07- Brace off, ambulate without crutches
9/27/07- Hardware removal, MUA, crutches x 8 wks 
6/08- J-brace for lateral maltracking, Cont. PT
8/08- Referred to soft tissue OS

Offline maryc

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Re: What does OA feel like?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2008, 09:17:02 PM »
Heather I looked up the shelf life of glucosamine and found a study that showed it was at least 2 years
http://abstracts.aapspharmaceutica.com/ExpoAAPS06/CC/forms/attendee/index.aspx?content=sessionInfo&sessionId=1116

My aquarobics is water aerobics at my local "Y", they also have a modified version for people with arthritis.  When I first started weight bearing I took that class.  I have since "graduated" to the full aqua fitness program.  I can really get a good workout without putting too much pressure on my knee. 

My other cardio is recumbent bike - I can get and keep my heart rate to between 115 and 125 using the "random" program, lots of hills and valleys.

I have heard of chiropractors who can do work on hips, legs and feet, but I'm not sure I would trust one who "pushes" his own products or negates others.  I also wonder about a single machine that can give you your "total" health status when doctors need to see multiple types of tests like blood, urine, ekg, etc.
Maybe I'm just a skeptic.

Mary
8/4/07 fell
8/5 diagnosed TPF
8/6 surgery plate and 6 screws
8/12 out of hospital NWM
8/21 staples removed
9/18 OS appt - WBAT with crutches
10/10 - WBAT with cane
10/27 - back to work w/cane
12/26 - no cane, slight limp when tired
1/25/08 - released from PT, no limp
2/3/09 - Released by OS

Offline jathib

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Re: What does OA feel like?
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2008, 09:43:28 PM »
You seem to be doing so well, maybe you really are one of those people that has good results with the supplements. I took them for months, and didn't see a difference. I wanted to re-start them as my other knee is giving me trouble, too. I see a massage therapist who works out of a chiropractic office. Don't know if it was just a hoax from the chiropractor when I asked what supplements he carried but, he said that if I purchased mine in a store, then I may as well not be taking anything. He said glucosamine has a short shelf life. Have you ever heard of that? Think they might be scamming for money because they keep trying to get me to do chiropractic appts, too. I hurt my knee, not my back?  ??? He also has a machine that supposedly gives you results on your total health status. Not sure what that includes?


Stay away from the chiropractor. They have no business touching your knees (or anything else in my opinion). Remember, they are not real doctors. I wouldn't buy any supplements from him either. Sounds like a salesman. The supplements are crap for the most part anyway. I wouldn't waste money on those. I think the placebo effect is responsible for most of the success stories. My coworker started taking that stuff and the next day she said she felt better than she ever had. Trouble is, it takes weeks for that stuff to kick in. Once the placebo effect wore off in a couple weeks she was right back where she started. If you truly believe it will work for you then it just might.

Offline heather rae

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Re: What does OA feel like?
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2008, 02:01:13 AM »
Mary and Jathib:

Hey! Thanks for posting back so quick. Really appreciate that. I knew my "gut" instincts about that chiropractor were absolutely correct. I think he knew how I felt because he just walked away. I can appreciate alternative medicine because I think it helps some people alot. But, please don't falsify information just to make a buck. I think the machine is a hoax, too. Just don't see how forceful cracking/pushing of any joint could be beneficial. Would that actually cause arthritis down the road? I'm with you, Jathib, No they are not docs and I don't fully trust what could happen from those treatments. My OS did, however, approve massage therapy for deep tissue/myofascial release "around" the knee and leg. 

Thanks for the study links about the time frame. That was in 2006, so everyone "should" be up to date on that. Especially if they are selling it. I would be interested to see the results from a blind placebo study on effectiveness. Sometimes I think some of the manufacturers give misleading info there, too. Could very well be misinterpreted as a pain medication because it "soothes achy joints." It did take the full 6 weeks, but my grandma's arthritic hands did feel better. She could knit again.

I love the water, too. It's the only place that I feel (almost) no pain! My mother-in-law says aqua-aerobics is pretty tough. So, way to go!  ;D My PT was mostly all aquatic until a few months ago. Nasty bromine reaction. So, with the nice weather, I do the water exercises in other places now. Even gotten brave enough to take the kickboard out a few times. I'm ready, but the knee isn't. PT gave me strict advice not to use the bike, though. He said it would only aggravate the joint surface that is already disrupted. O.K. makes sense. Does it hurt you? Exercises are also to be kept in working at 45 degree of flexion or less, too. So, no wonder sitting with the leg bent hurts so much!!

I really do thank you both for your input. We should be skeptical over what's good and bad for our own health, right?

Heather!!
           
5/10/07- Comminuted-20 frag., displaced L patella Fx
5/15/07- ORIF L patella, Bledsoe brace, crutches
7/07- PT 3X/week
8/07- Brace off, ambulate without crutches
9/27/07- Hardware removal, MUA, crutches x 8 wks 
6/08- J-brace for lateral maltracking, Cont. PT
8/08- Referred to soft tissue OS

Offline inkneedofhelp

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Re: What does OA feel like?
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2008, 09:07:51 PM »
I have had a different experience with glucosamine supplements, and chiropractors for that matter.  I developed OA back in the early 90's and I took a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement that my naturopath recommended and the OA went away.  I did have to take it for a long time and sometimes at a fairly high dose.  It supports your body's functions (I think it gives some raw materials to remake some of the cartilage).

I am taking it again now that I'm injured (shattered patella).  This time my naturopath suggested that I use glucosamine indefinitely. (NO he's not selling it)  I use a formula that has some other stuff like vit. D, Bromelain etc. mixed in.  I used a lot of bromelain when I first had my accident and I believe it helped with the inflammation.  I do suggest that even when using 'natural' stuff it is a good idea to seek out an expert ie a naturopath because when you use herbs and supplements in large doses and for longer periods, they are more or less being used as a drug. I'm hoping that in this extreme situation, that the supplements are helping to make things not as bad as they might be

As far as the chiropractor, there are some quacks, but there are also some very gifted ones.  It's up to you to be in control and understand your treatment.  I might be leery of a chiropractor who sells supplements too but  the chiropractor who I go to has helped me tremendously... both before and after my accident.  He is using a technique called A.R.T. which helps to break down scar tissue (effective for me anyways) and my leg feels good afterwards.

The underside of my patella is all chewed up too and I am having a heck of a time building up some quad strength.  I was injured in Aug of 2007 and at my last OS visit, three weeks ago the OS said that I've developed OA in that knee now.  He just wants to see me again in 6 months.  I am planning to visit a new PT to see if he'll have any new tricks for this wasting quad.  My progress is s-l-o-w and I am constantly aware that inflammation is literally one step away.  Is there an effective quad exercise that doesn't require bending the knee?

Offline heather rae

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Re: What does OA feel like?
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2008, 01:00:24 AM »
Hi!

About the quad exercises, for the most part, they require some knee bending but, I do a few that doesn't as well. I would get PT clearance for them but, I have some examples for you: ball squeezes, the quad slide board (You can bend a little into it if possible), and the treadmill forwards and backwards maybe with some incline. I do keep my flexion in working at about 45 degrees though and it does help a little.

Sorry you've had to join the broken patella club! It's a nasty, nasty thing. I hate it and all of the other problems it had caused. My quads are still wasted, too. Maybe some E-stim would help you. I've had 3 rounds of it and the last one has resulted in a little muscle mass trying to come back above the knee. The VMO is still mush, though! I think pain is a major barrier in rebuilding the entire leg and yes, inflammation still plagues me, too.

I have a friend who sees her regular MD for chiropractic adjustments on her back/hips. She has shallow hip sockets and they sublux. all the time. He just puts them back in. So, I do agree that there is some help with good ones. I just think it's a little strange that a chiropractor would try to do adjustment on my back for my knee. My back doesn't hurt at all. Most of my PT exercises would be good for the back in working the lower half, as well.

Glad you found the supplements useful. My new meds help me to handle my pain better so, that's good, too. I hear you about the turtle speed recovery, same here. So, is your OS going to do anything to try to repair your damage? I think there are helpful procedures for that, too. I have to see a soft tissue OS specialist next month about the PF problem. Well, I hope you're able to get on with your recovery and post back soon, ok? Take care!

Heather
5/10/07- Comminuted-20 frag., displaced L patella Fx
5/15/07- ORIF L patella, Bledsoe brace, crutches
7/07- PT 3X/week
8/07- Brace off, ambulate without crutches
9/27/07- Hardware removal, MUA, crutches x 8 wks 
6/08- J-brace for lateral maltracking, Cont. PT
8/08- Referred to soft tissue OS

Offline inkneedofhelp

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Re: What does OA feel like?
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2008, 05:39:29 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions and encouragement, Heather. I've read some of your posts and they are helpful...we have similar injuries from the looks of it.  You seem so knowlegeable though.   I haven't heard about a quad slide board. I'll talk to a physiotherapist about the ball squeezes.  I was walking the treadmill forward and back, but recently stopped because I'm having troubles with spastic muscles in the foot of my non-injured leg.  That alone has really complicated my recovery.  My now injured leg is the one I relied on because my other leg is quite weak and as I've mentioned, has muscle spasticity.  Hopefully I'll get back on that treadmill.  I'm thinking of gently bouncing on my mini-trampoline.  I think that that may also help with my proprioperception(sp?) problems.   I'll ask about e-stim too.  Are you able to engage your quads without the e-stim?

I didn't read your chiropractor experience properly I guess... I didn't catch that he worked on your knee via your back.  That doesn't sound right at all. 

My OS just said to see him in 6 months.  That's why I thought I should start posting and reading more here, so I can figure out what kind of questions I should be asking.

What specifically does a soft tissue specialist do?  I've never heard of that specialty either.

Is there somewhere on this site where I can find the meanings of the terms?  i'm getting to know some of them.

Thanks again.  Wishing you well too!