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Author Topic: New here....my knee story, and some questions  (Read 1105 times)

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Offline davizmom

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New here....my knee story, and some questions
« on: October 17, 2013, 10:34:37 PM »
Hi!  I've lurked around for a while and finally decided to ask my own questions. 
I'm 32 years old, healthy, and not overweight.  In late 2011 I started having some left knee pain on occasion that would come out of nowhere.  It didn't happen all the time, but when it did, it stayed around for days.  I had went to the doctor, who touched my knee and said, well, you don't have arthritis.  I just let it go.  Then, on another occasion, I was awoke from my sleep with horrible pain in my knee.  It hurt worse than it ever had.  I had to take an ibuprofren to try to get back to sleep, and I never take pain pills.  It subsided, and in the morning, after the med wore off, the pain came back just as strong.  I went to the ER (it was a weekend) and they took an xray, which they said showed a loose bone sliver floating around.  They gave me crutches and told me to make an appointment with an orthopedic doctor on Monday. 
So I did.  He gave me a brace and sent me on my way ( I wish I would've stopped there)  But, on occasion I'd still get some discomfort in my knee.  So I went back, and seen his assistant, who said I'd need surgery.  I had an MRI and it didn't really show too much different than the xray.  But, I had my knee arthroscopy surgery in August of 2012 and the doctor said that I was way worse than expected.  I barely had any cartilage, and I was either a grade 3 or 4 ( I can't remember exactly).  He had to smooth out the rough spot, and he drilled 4 small pinholes in my bone in order for it to bleed and cause scar tissue to form, in hopes of creating some cushion.  He told me that I could expect a partial knee replacement in about 20 years. 
Anyways, I've been in more dang pain since then, then I was before surgery.  So, I regret the whole thing.  I work in a hospital, so I'm always on my feet.  If I'm off work for a couple days, my knee feels ok.  Once I'm up and working (lifting people, scooting, twisting, all that good stuff) I'm in pain.  I'm looking for office work, but so far nothing.  I have to keep doing what I'm doing until I get another job. Then of course if it's cold or rainy it seems to hurt.  It always hurts the most where he did the drilling.   
When I bend down and get back up, my knee makes a crackling sound. 

So my questions are:  Is pain still normal after all this time?  What happens if I refuse to have any more surgeries? I'm not wanting to have another surgery, ever, especially one on my knee.  Will I become handicap or crippled if I don't have a knee replacement? 
I've read good reviews about OsteoBiflex, so I bought some and have been taking them, but I still have some pain. I get extremely depressed over this at times, because I'm terrified that everyday I work, I'm doing more damage to my knee, and the thought of surgery scares me so much.

Any input would be greatly appreciated! 

Offline JOW_103

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Re: New here....my knee story, and some questions
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2013, 08:39:22 PM »
Sorry to hear about your knee problems.  Grade 3 OA is 75% thickness erosion of the cartilage.  Grade 4 is a full thickness lesion which would means you have bone rubbing on bone. 

I understand your apprehension regarding surgery but at some point that is where this will lead.  You can not regrow cartilage and your condition will worsen over time.

Some non-surgical alternatives to help with the pain would be to try visco supplements which are injections directly into the knee.  The idea is to provide some lubricant to the knee using artificial means.  Products like Euflexxa, SynVisc  and Orthovisc are examples of products that can help alleviate pain from OA.  If they work they can provide relief for about 6 months and then need to be done again.  They do lose their effectiveness over time.

Cortisone shots are also a way to help with pain.  Cortisone is a steroid which reduces the inflammation associated with OA and can bring relief for short periods of time.  However, over time, they can cause damage to the joints so are not recommended to take over long periods of time.

An unloading knee brace can also help.  This is a custom brace designed to take weight off the damaged area of the joint.  These can help especially if your OA is limited to one compartment of your knee.

Everybody's case is different and what works for one person doesn't always work for everyone.  I had a similar situation to you and none of these remedies helped alleviate the knee pain I had.  Ultimately,  I ended up with a partial knee replacement in my left knee.  Although it is still surgery it worked out quite well and the recovery wasn't all that bad.   I'm 51 years old which is young for joint replacement but it was better than dealing with the pain all the time.  Although you are a lot younger than I am, joint replacement is better than being in pain all the time.  Also, your youth will help you recover much quicker than someone who is in their 70's.

I am now scheduled for my second partial knee replacement this December as my right knee is suffering form the same problems as my left.

What ever you decide, do something because you will continue to damage the joint over time if you ignore it.  Especially if you have grade 4 OA.  Good luck.

Online Vickster

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Re: New here....my knee story, and some questions
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2013, 08:47:26 PM »
My OS actually believes that many people get relief from HA injections for much longer than that - 2 years when they work properly.  My course of 3 Ostenil jabs is still effective after 18 months.  I got about the same from a single Durolane jab previously

I'd certainly discuss them with your doctor - not inexpensive though if insurance won't cover (I will have to pay for my next course if / when needed)

You may also find some helpful information here  http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEnotes/primers/joint-cartilage-and-arthritis-primer

:)
Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09
LK arthroscopy 8/2/10
2nd scope on 16/12/10
RK arthroscopy on 5/2/15
Lateral meniscus trim, excision of hoffa's fat pad, chondral stabilisation
LK scope 10.1.19 medial menisectomy, trochlea microfracture, general tidy up

Offline davizmom

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Re: New here....my knee story, and some questions
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2013, 11:29:42 PM »
Sorry for the delayed reply...I forgot my password :-*

If I were bone on bone, would I have pretty much continuous pain? 

Is it possible to preserve what cartilage I have left so that I may possibly avoid another surgery?

Offline davizmom

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Re: New here....my knee story, and some questions
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2013, 09:38:49 PM »
Anyone know?   ;)

Online Vickster

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Re: New here....my knee story, and some questions
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2013, 09:47:03 PM »
The level of pain varies from person to person, some can have relatively little damage and lots of discomfort, others extensive grade 4 and less pain.  You can control pain with different types of medication, ice may help (in moderation), heat may help

You can potentially preserve your cartilage by keeping your weight in check, getting the leg muscles strong around the knee, potentially with an unloader brace, avoiding impact activities such as running, kneeling, squatting, focused physiotherapy might be of benefit.  Where is the damage?  Unfortunately no one can predict what will happen as time goes on, you can just try to reduce the impact on the joint

You should discuss the options with your surgeon, perhaps even get a 2nd opinion.  Does your doctor think the microfracture was effective, it isn't always?

Good luck :)
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 09:51:00 PM by Vickster »
Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09
LK arthroscopy 8/2/10
2nd scope on 16/12/10
RK arthroscopy on 5/2/15
Lateral meniscus trim, excision of hoffa's fat pad, chondral stabilisation
LK scope 10.1.19 medial menisectomy, trochlea microfracture, general tidy up















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