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Author Topic: My Father has severe knee issues. How to proceed...  (Read 1030 times)

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Offline ktrent

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My Father has severe knee issues. How to proceed...
« on: April 02, 2013, 12:48:49 AM »
My 87 year old father's right knee has been causing him severe pain and immobility since September 2012. He has had several hospitalizations directly or indirectly relating to his knee. Most recently, his knee buckled and he fell and fractured his left femur. He is not a candidate for any kind of knee surgery due to his age and other underlying medical problems (COPD and atrial fibrillation). Instead, he has been undergoing prolotherapy, prolozone, and most recently, platelet rich plasma injections, as well as several stints of inpatient PT and OT rehab all with no relief.

This knee problem has nearly rendered him a cripple. He finds it nearly impossible to due basic functions that involve standing or walking, like using the bathroom. Even using a walker, the knee will buckle severely and he will fall. He can take upwards of half an hour or more just to walk from one room to another.

He had an MRI of the knee and was found to have a tear in his anterior cruciate ligament, two tears in the meniscus, severe bone on bone contact, bone marrow edema around the knee joint, with a conclusion of severe degenerative joint disease. He also has pes planus deformity of his right foot (where the foot is bent outward), and that has also contributed to the problem by causing a visible misallignment of his whole leg.

At this point, I don't know what else to do. He basically sits all day because he is unable to walk any great distance, even with his walker. The treatments are not providing even the slightest relief, and even may be making it worse, and the money is running out. I switched him to a different prolo doctor and he seems to have a different approach than the the last two. He administered prolotherapy to align his hips and PRP (platelet rich plasma) into the knee. So far, he said, the pain has gotten a lot worse, almost unbearable. He said on a pain scale of 1-10, with 1 being the least amount of pain and 10 being the most, he describes his pain as a 15 or 20. In other words off the charts severe. He cannot take NSAIDs due to GI bleeding issues he has occassionally as well the fact that they will counter the benefits of the injections.

He's not asking for immediate relief, which from my understanding of these injections is not immediate anyway, but at least some relief from his pain and buckling without pain medications. Please help!

Offline smartdriver

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Re: My Father has severe knee issues. How to proceed...
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2013, 05:11:19 PM »
ktrent - I feel as though your story could be about my father as well.  He turned 89 in December and has had severe knee issues for (especially) the last 5-6 years.  He has  1 lung, COPD, congestive heart failure, etc. etc.  so he is unable to have any surgery.  The surgeon was going to put a "spacer" in his knee where it was bone on bone, but due to my dad's health, they could not.

He's had cortisone shots - which worked at first, but now he's had to stop getting them as they are not efective at all.  He has been using a cane for years and now it's gotten to the point where he does use a walker some.  He limps quite badly - and bowlegged as well.  In addition, his knee swells up alot the more he tries to do.  He has a knee brace to wear, but he has said that it really doesn't help.

The surgeon has said that PT will not provide any type of relief.

Like you, I search for something out there that will give him some relief, but haven't found anything.  Although, one thing that he has tried is the liniment that is used for horses.  The farm supply store said that they sell just as much to people for their arthritis, etc. than they sell to people to use on their horses.  I'm not sure if it's just a mental thing, but my dad believes it provides some relief so I guess that is what matters the most.

I have read about DMSO gel working too, but I'm hesitant to buy any for him as I'm afraid it will have an adverse reaction with his medications and other health issues.

Good luck and I hope you can find some relief for your father!  It is sad to sit and not be able to help out.