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Author Topic: Just diagnosed! Can knee arthritis cause WHOLE LEG to ache?  (Read 50244 times)

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Offline Nancy T

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Finally got an x-ray, and internist says right knee has arthritis--it's mostly bone on bone--and a big bone spur. YIKES!!! (53-year-old female, 50 lbs overweight)

QUESTION: Can arthritis and bone spur in the knee cause a vaguely located but strong aching all around the knee and in parts of the calf and ankle? I've also felt it's somehow connected to an ache in my way lower back (actually buttock). Pain when I straighten my leg all the way.

This comes after about six months of occasional sudden severe pains in the knee, which would "fix" themselves just as suddenly. More recently, after six days of work in a row, I got this stronger aching--worse at night.

I'm SURE this was exacerbated by increased time on my feet in the past nine months and esp. the past month, as I've been working almost full-time instead of my usual half-time, and my job involves a lot of standing, walking, getting up and down from chairs, and carrying stacks of books (library clerk). No more substituting for me!!

Have not seen an orthopedist... for now just doubled my ibuprofen from the usual 1200 to 2400/day, wearing an elastic brace, DIETING to lose 50 extra lbs, taking a few days off til it settles down (fingers crossed).

Any advice welcome!! Esp., can arthritis really cause aching areas in the lower leg as well as knee?

Thanks much,

Nancy
« Last Edit: July 02, 2010, 05:03:17 PM by Nancy T »

Offline maryc

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Re: Just diagnosed! Can knee arthritis cause WHOLE LEG to ache?
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2010, 07:18:12 PM »
Wow that's a lot of ibuprofen long term.  Is your doctor aware of that dosage, mine is really concerned about long term use and stomach side effects.  I would not put of seeing an OS.

As for the arthritis making the other parts of your leg hurt - yes, your body will try to protect you from pain, to do this it may use muscles in ways that are not their normal useage and the result is sore muscles.

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 Kimberly 77

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Re: Just diagnosed! Can knee arthritis cause WHOLE LEG to ache?
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2010, 08:28:27 PM »
Hi! I have been told I have osteoarthritis too and my calf feels really sore most of the time. If I run my fingers down the back of my calf I get a tingling sensation all the way to my foot.
Right leg amputee.
Osteoarthritis in left knee.
Medial femoral condyle defect, arthoscopy 8-2-10
Grade 3 defects, patella, medial femoral condyle, tibia scoped1-12-2011
Physical theraphy and awaiting microfrature 2-1-12

Offline UK Girl !

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Re: Just diagnosed! Can knee arthritis cause WHOLE LEG to ache?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2010, 09:07:43 PM »
hi
Yes it definitely can make your whole leg ache - beofre my tkr my leg ached like hell hell hell - thankfully that pain is gone :)

As someone else said - the amount of ibuprofen you are necking seems very steep - I would seek advice on this.

Good Luck !
1978 - ruptured acl and all cartalidge removed.
several debridements over years
TKR 10TH JULY 2006 http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=28257.0  Aug 07 patellar maltracking - more physio! Still pain - but so much better !
BIOMET AGC  TKR  (with 10 yr warranty !)

Offline Nancy T

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Re: Just diagnosed! Can knee arthritis cause WHOLE LEG to ache?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2010, 06:28:13 AM »
Mary, Kimberly, UKGirl, thanks so much for your comments!

Yes, my doctor knows about the ibuprofen 2400 mg/day (AND acetaminophen 3000 mg/day). I have taken these long-term for overall flu-like achiness of unknown cause, maybe a little fibromyalgia, who knows. Normally I take 1200 mg/day of Advil but double it when I'm bad. I also have pain in both big toes when I walk, a bad posterior tibial tendon, etc., so the Advil works on lots of stuff!

I am always careful to take it with food/water and to not OD on the Tylenol. So far, so good stomach-wise.

My leg/knee pain does not feel at all like sore muscles anywhere--just a kind of painful ache that flares up when I stretch the leg, and when lying down it's worse too. Impossible to get comfortable in bed.

They did try me on a Cox inhibitor (meloxicam) but it made me break out in a rash, so I went back to Advil.

I am hoping these several days of relative rest and limiting my work time thereafter will keep this under control, but I'll know pretty soon! If not, I will request to see an orthopedist.

Thanks again for the advice--I bet I will have more questions!

Nancy

Offline jasmine0070

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Re: Just diagnosed! Can knee arthritis cause WHOLE LEG to ache?
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2010, 02:10:38 PM »
Hi,
I can totally relate to you, thats exactly how I feel.I  am waiting for an osteotomy because of age to buy time until I can have an TKR.
Take care
comminuted fracture of proximal tibia involving tibial plateaus with comminuted central depression of the laterial and a major proximal fragment on medial side.
left knee arthroscopy
LK tricompartmental debridement
LK subtotal lateral meniscectomy
LK distal femoral osteotomy

Offline kpoppy

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Re: Just diagnosed! Can knee arthritis cause WHOLE LEG to ache?
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2010, 04:28:45 PM »
Hi Nancy-

Did your physician consider your lumbar spine as a possibility for the source of some of your pain?  Lumbar spine radiculopathy can present in some of the ways you have described.

Best wishes.

KP
R ACL,MCL,med/lat men tears- basketball 06.

ACLr w/ BPTB auto, w/intraop. patellar fx/ORIF 06

Med/lat part. meniscectomies 07, Post-op infection, I & D.

Revision ACL w/ ham auto 1/09.

Bone graft ACL tunnels, debridement AF Jan. 2010

ACL Revision #2/PLC procedure July 21, 2010

Offline Nancy T

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Re: Just diagnosed! Can knee arthritis cause WHOLE LEG to ache?
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2010, 08:21:08 PM »
Very interesting question, KP. I do in fact have thoraco-lumbar scoliosis (about 33-38 degree curve in lower back) and degenerative changes in the spine.

In fact before getting the x-ray showing knee arthritis, I wondered if the problem might be a kind of sciatica, since the whole-leg aching included the spot in the way lower back (just above the rear) where I believe the sciatic nerve starts. But no shooting pains or tingling, etc. from that area, and the doc (internist) thought not sciatica.

The lower back/rear discomfort resolved at the same time the knee/leg aching did--after 2-3 days of rest--so I'm good now (yay!!).

The only thing the docs have attributed to my scoliosis so far is a walking problem I have--when I walk continuously for more than a couple blocks, certain muscles near my hips hit a "wall" and I have to stop for a minute before I can go on. They say it's due to "muscle imbalance" related to the scoliosis. I'm supposed to be doing exercises for it (supposed to be). My hip joints are perfectly fine, though, per x-rays.

I've also had an 11-year history of VERY weird unexplained paresthesias and shocks in my legs and elsewhere--a lot of short circuits in my wiring, but also in my face and neck (Lhermitte's), so these cannot all be attributed to lower-spine degeneration. They say it's not MS though.

If I get to an orthopedist eventually, I'll ask about possible connection to the lumbar spine. Thanks for the thought-provoking question!

Nancy

Offline RetiredinSunnyFloridaUSA

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Re: Just diagnosed! Can knee arthritis cause WHOLE LEG to ache?
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2017, 09:04:47 PM »
Please stop the over the counter tylenol it will wreck your liver. It put me in the hospital with 1/3 of my liver removed. I almost died. You need cortisone shots and real meds.















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