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Author Topic: Osteoarthritis treatment options  (Read 604 times)

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Offline brandyshea

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Osteoarthritis treatment options
« on: June 26, 2013, 08:03:04 PM »
I'm feeling kind of lost and defeated right now.  I am 32 years old and have always had some kind of knee pain.  It started around sixth grade when I started getting pain when going up and down stairs.

I took ballet for many years and in high school I started noticing the same knee pain when doing jumps that started from one leg and started with a plie (bent knee).  A brace helped the pain though. 

In college I started running and occassionally would have knee swelling and the pain on stairs became constant.  I did physical therapy to try to help with the knee pain (diagnosed with chondromalacia) and while it helped somewhat it never fully got rid of the pain.

About a year ago my right knee buckled while walking and started swelling.  X-rays and MRIs showed no tears, just some moderate arthritis.  A few months ago, the left knee started swelling and having issues too.  MRI showed the same moderate arthritis as in the right. 

Just last week I had my first synvisc injection.  I take an adult tap class and when I go it absolutely wrecks my knees.  Which means I should probably stop, but like I said, I'm 32 and pretty depressed about not being able to do the things I feel I should be able to. 

As far as daily pain, there are some days when my knees are fine.  They flare up when storms are coming.  There are some days that I limp because the knee pain is so bad.  There is no way that I can do squats or lunges anymore.  Sometimes I have a hard time standing up if the chair is really low.  About a month ago, I got stuck on the floor of a department store (was looking at some purses) because there was nothing for me to pull myself up on.

I feel defeated.  Am I just destined to be in pain until it gets bad enough and I'm old enough for a knee replacement?  My doc hasn't mentioned any kind of surgery, but she isn't a surgeon, just an orthopedist (sports medicine).  I just want to be active again!

Offline FMRCathelete

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Re: Osteoarthritis treatment options
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2013, 09:37:42 PM »
There are options for you.  The synvisc may help, but may take all 3 to get the effect.  If you don't have improvement with those, then look for a knee specialist.  Another thing is that it doesn't hurt to consult with a physical therapist again as muscle imbalances and IT band tightness can really aggravate knees -search for one with an orthopedic certification.  Also keep in mind that many of us here are also looking for help/support, so we may have some bad stories, but that does not mean we represent the general population.  Lots of people get better & stop checking in, though there are a few that stick around to give us great advice.  I am 39 & have had a rough couple years after 20+ years of "annoying" knee pain.  Haven't been able run since I was 17 due to pain & swelling, but was able to manage pretty well until I was 32-33. 

Best advice I can give if none of the above helps is to get at least one 2nd opinion before any surgery.  Are you elevating and icing when knees act up?  Also, what are you taking/applying for medication? 

You are not defeated as long as you are looking for options and doing your part to get better.  I know exactly how you feel -I ache to do a cardio workout.  I hope you find something that works for you.  Good luck.  Cheers-A
Lat release 5/08
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PJFR 10/10
Scope, plica removal/synovectomy 1/12
Scope, Medial retinacular release and debridement of excess tissues 2/13
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Offline brandyshea

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Re: Osteoarthritis treatment options
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2013, 02:46:39 PM »
I actually did the synvisc injection where you do it all at once.  Doc told me it might take up to 7 weeks to get the full effect.  I am icing knees when they flare up and after exercise and taking ibuprofen.  Have a prescription for Mobic, but normally just take regular ibuprofen.

I love for the days when I could sit on the toilet and didn't have to fall onto it!  :)