Anyone with arthritic knees?

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CathyA
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1431
   Posted 5/30/2009 7:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Almost 2 years ago, I had alot leg aching and knee pain. I saw a sports medicine knee surgeon and had an MRI and he said I had a torn meniscus and needed surgery. So I had surgery. I was in alot of pain and really bad shape for a long time.....compared to what happens to most people afterwards. The surgeon said it was my FMS, and I believed him. It was awful, and I had to do alot more PT than other people, needed Vicodin for pain, etc. Fortunately this surgeon was very familiar with FMS, and was very patient and understanding.

After I got that worked out (about 2-3 months), my knees did great. I did my knee exercises every day. But then last summer, I began having horrible leg aches....especially in the leg that I'd had surgery. I needed pain meds again, and had about 2 months of PT, which didn't help that much. I eventually got over it.
about 2 months ago, my leg started aching again. Last week, I worked in the garden, and my knee started hurting again, and the entire rest of my leg, from my hip to my foot. It aches soooooo bad. I'm icing my knee, taking tylenol, and trying not to overdo it.......which means barely doing much of anything. (well, I worked a little in the garden today and now I'm really in pain).

I refuse to get a knee replacement or those rooster comb injections......so I'm trying to do all the other right stuff.

Here's my question: For those of you who might have knee problems, does the entire rest of your leg ache? My shin area aches so bad, and down to my ankle. My thigh area aches just as bad, and my calf. I'm wondering if my unstable knee is causing all my other muscles to cramp?
I understand why I would have knee pain. Supposedly my knees are arthritic and that can destroy the meniscus, and then you don't have any cushioning. But why does my entire leg ache all the time? Does anyone else have this problem? I don't have vascular problems.

I got some Robaxin to try the other day, and only took about 250mg. I felt sort of weird later in the day, and that scared me out of taking any more.......but I probably should try it again.
Does this sound like FMS muscle spasms to you?
I did have an MRI of my lower spine last year, and only had mild narrowing of my lower vertebrae, so I don't think its that. I wear orthotics which definitely help my legs and knee.
I've never really had muscle spasms before, and it has just occurred to me recently that this might be what the aching is.
Any thoughts?
Thanks.
P.S. I do take Calcium, magnesium and Vitamin D daily.

RedDiane
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 906
   Posted 5/30/2009 7:29 PM (GMT -7)   
I have osteoarthritis in both knees. In January I had (I guess what you call rooster comb) injections. They are called synvisc. Only in my left knee because it was the worst. Now I am waiting for insurance ok to get them in my right knee. They shoot them right into your knee joint, but the shots aren't too bad. I do have some relief in my left knee, now I can go down stairs on that knee. I don't want to get replacements until they are absolutely necessary. Hope this helps you. Oh, I don't get muscle spasms in my legs. Diane
Fibromyalgia since 1984, Sjogren's, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Auto-immune eczema, GERD, osteoarthritis, IBS, RLS, sleep apnea


vestabula
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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 5/30/2009 8:34 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Cathy...about four months ago I got pain in the middle of my butt.  Then it went into my hip, down the side of my leg across my knee and sometimes it continures into my shin.  It is mainly on my right side.  I cannot pin point where the pain originates but it aches continuously and wakes me up at night. My thigh aches also and even clothes hurt against it.  Don't know what it is, if it's just another fibro-thing or something else.  All I know is that it HURTS!

Huggies

Donna

 


fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: Lexapro and valium


Shash13
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 179
   Posted 5/30/2009 10:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Cathy! I, too, have arthritis in my knees, among a jillion other places! LOL I also have incredible leg pain which I try to blame on both the OA and the FMS. but not sure which is worst culprit. Actually, don't think it matters since it hurts no matter what! LOL I do have degenerative disc disease with at least seven herniations at last check, so think that also contributes. I suspect muscle spasms, too, since the pain is so widespread and different from the regular knee pain. I am going to have to decide soon about getting at least the left knee 'cleaned out' with arthroscopic surgery -- they tell me they can shave down the bone spurs, too, at the same time. I've just had so much really major surgery that I can't think about even this type of stuff without losing it pretty badly! Guess I've gotten chicken -- not to disparage chickens, of course! (Plus, I hate to be 'down' any worse since my grandchild lives with me and has enough to deal with!) This, too, will eventually get taken care of and something new will take its place! Doesn't it always?! LOL Know this doesn't help you, but I do know what you're dealing with -- try to hang tough!
(((hugs))) Shash
Dx: FMS,OA,depression,anxiety,DDD with 7 herniations so far,HTN,IBS,cardiac
stent,failing aortic valve,angina,migraines with aura,many surgeries,+misc.
Rx: Nifedipine,Atenolol,Enalapril,Simvastatin,Levothyroxine,Cymbalta,Bupropion,
Dicyclomine,Lorazepam,Darvocet,Percocet,albuteral inhaler,nitroglycerin,+
( novice with computer - patience, please!)


Littleneck
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 599
   Posted 5/30/2009 10:29 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had both knees scoped three yeaars ago, but now they are popping and hurt a lot again. This is a different pain, though. It is not so clearly defined as my torn meniscii were, so I can tell it is more fm related. This time around I do not have whole leg aches, but more traveling muscular and skin aches - my right hip, my left knee, both ankles.

donnaeil
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 1156
   Posted 5/30/2009 11:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Are any of you getting any exercise. Aquatic exercise in a shallow water pool works wonders for the pain. I too had torn maniscus due to bad falls. I had two separate arthroscopic surgeries to remove it but until I worked out in water, I was miserable.

My hips still hurt when walking so instead I work out in the pool everyday for a couple of hours to get my exercise.

Pain relievers can only help take the edge off for me.

I hope all of you get some relief soon.

Donnaeil

Irish Babe
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1371
   Posted 5/31/2009 7:01 AM (GMT -7)   
I have OA thru out my body. My knees are bad, I was coming down steps last yr at a boat show when my right knee felt like it bent backwards. I almost fell down the steps, grabbed the roping and husband. I had those horrible injections in the knee caps and I exercise by walking and stationary bike. I still have a prob w/ walking especially up/down stairs, so I use a cane. I don't like to go many places by myself anymore in case my legs give out.
 
I have quite a bit of pain in my shins and I have cramps/spasms in my thigh/hip area. That just about knocks me off my feet. My balance is off too, so it makes for an interesting day. I can walk just so far and I have to stop, I can only stand for so long before legs and back give out. When I have to stop, I HAVE to stop, then I rest and continue w/ what I'm doing.
 
Hope you all have a good day.
 
God bless.  Alice.

CathyA
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1431
   Posted 5/31/2009 8:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks everyone,
I'm sorry for all of you! Its just awful to have sooooo much to do, but not be able to do it because of the pain/leg giving way!
I've heard recently that they're discovering that certain exercises for the leg/knee are just as good as the surgery.
I guess I'm freaking out because after my meniscus surgery and shaving off the OA lumps and bumps, I had an absolutely horrible time. I just don't want to go through that again. And my physical therapist, who was extremely intelligent and good, didn't really understand FMS, and sometimes would assume I hadn't done my exercises, when I had been doing them religiously...........because of the spasms/pain I was having during our visits.
I'm tempted to ask my Internist for a prescription for PT, and have them show me exactly what exercises would help me the most this time.
I just don't know which comes first......the chicken or the egg..........is my knee hurting so badly because all the muscles in my leg are spasming, or are they spasming because my knee is bad?
And to be honest with you, between my funky FMS reactions to everything AND having docs in the past who have either done nothing to help or made things worse, I am SOOOOooooooo hesitant to even go to a doctor for this.
I learned alot of exercises during my last few stints at physical therapy, so I will keep doing those.
DH is trying to tell me that this is just a short-term injury and will pass..........but as usual, I'm seeing it as just ANOTHER life-long problem, and it really throws me into a depression.
We have a large property. I have a garden, water gardens, chickens, etc. I can hardly do anything outside because of this pain, and its really bumming me out. (although my abilities to much of anything outside have decreased considerably just from the FMS.)
Plus, when I had the last surgery, the surgeon said that my one knee is almost bone-on-bone, so I'm not sure there's a way around that.
Like I said, I just don't want knee replacements or the injections.

For those of you who have spasms, what meds seemed to help you the most? Muscle-relaxers? Pain meds? Unfortunately I can't take NSAIDS, or I would. I took 1 Aleve last week and had GI problems from it for about 3-4 days.

donnaeil........I don't have access to a pool, but I do have a 300 gallon stocktank. Its about 5 and 1/2' long. I'm thinking I could use that! haha........I'd have to share it with the froggies/tadpoles and waterlilies though. haha What kind of exercises do you do in the water?

It would help so much if I could fly. haha

I appreciate everyone's suggestions and support!

Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17101
   Posted 5/31/2009 8:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Cathy, I agree with Donnaeil that water exercise would be good for you but I also know that not everyone has access to a pool.  If you do, you should look into that.
 
The National Institute of Health says:

What Types of Exercise Are Best for Someone With Knee Problems?

Three types of exercise are best for people with arthritis:

  • Range-of-motion exercises. These exercises help maintain or increase flexibility. They also help relieve stiffness in the knee.
  • Strengthening exercises. These exercises help maintain or increase muscle strength. Strong muscles help support and protect joints with arthritis.
  • Aerobic or endurance exercises. These exercises improve heart function and blood circulation. They also help control weight. Some studies show that aerobic exercise can reduce swelling in some joints.

Here is a link to the Arthritis Foundation.  They talk about exercise and, at the right hand side of this site, they have range of motion and endurance exercise videos you can watch.  This just might help you out.  Here is the link.

http://www.arthritis.org/exercise-intro.php

I hope this helps you.  I've had knee pain before and it isn't fun.

Sherrine


Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7


CathyA
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1431
   Posted 5/31/2009 9:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Sherrine,
I tried water therapy when I first got FMS, and it didn't help, but that was 20 years ago, and I have an older body now.......so it might help.
I'm curious.......and I hope I'm not offending anyone........Are most of you overweight? I am. I lost about 10 # last year, and wonder if that's why my knees felt so good. A couple months ago, I put 5-6# back on and have been wondering if that "tipped the scales" so to speak with my knees. Of course, I'm always trying to lose weight. You'd think painful knees would motivate me more........but the sad truth is, since I can't get out as much, I'm much too close to the kitchen all the time now!

Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17101
   Posted 5/31/2009 9:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Cathy, losing weight would help you immensely.  I have lost 85 pounds and am doing so much better than I did.  I still need to lose more.  It is hard but I keep trying.  It's especially difficult when  you can't move that much.  Exercise is so important. 
 
I lost my weight by counting carbohydrates.  It did come off and I wasn't hungry either.  I did do some walking, though.  When I started out I could barely walk around the block.  Now I start my day by walking one mile with my dog.  I know I've mentioned that "one mile" a lot but I never thought I would be able to do that!  I hurt when I started but kept adding a little more length to my walks until I reached this mark. 
 
I enjoy gardening.  I know I can do active gardening for about 1 1/2 hours.  I ache when I get in the house but take Tylenol and pretty much take it easy for the rest of the day. 
 
But, losing the weight definitely was the biggest help to me.  The knees are a weight-bearing joint so they take the brunt of the exercise.  The less you weigh, the less the knees have to carry. 
 
Sherrine
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7


CathyA
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1431
   Posted 5/31/2009 10:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sherrine,
Congrats on your weight loss! I have had eating problems my whole life. I weighed 190 when I was 14, then got down to 130 by age 27. After I got married, I put it all back on and more. Over the past 10 years, I've probably lost about 15. I'm positive I'm a sugar addict. And I don't mean that in a cute/funny way. Its like I can't eat just a little sweets, or I go on a binge. I've accepted that I will struggle with this my whole life.
I lost the last weight when I first went on Zoloft. It was Wonderful! It was like for the first time in my life I wasn't driven to eat all the time.
Unfortunately, that wore off and now I'm struggling again. It definitely doesn't help to not be able to be more active. I'm trying to be active, but the pain is really holding me back.
I know 5# doesn't seem like much, but my knee started acting up after I gained that back. yes, I did work alot in the garden, but I don't think it would have bothered me quite so much, if I didn't have that extra 5# back on. (Don't get me wrong............I need to lose probably 30-40 more after that.)
I do have a similar reaction to carbs too. I've always said "carbs beget carbs", and its definitely true for me. The more carbs I eat, the more I want!
It does give me hope, though, to think that there might be something I can do for my knee.......like losing weight. That is definitely a non-surgical option! Now, if I can only get there from here!

Thanks Sherrine!

tyno3
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Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1081
   Posted 5/31/2009 11:51 AM (GMT -7)   
I could afford to lose twenty pounds, like an earlier respondent, i am a sugar junkie. I attribute it to the amyltriptilene. It makes me, you, us, crave sweets. I will forgo meals for a bag of gummies. Not a good idea, not at all, but it's what my body is telling me to do. I have near constant leg (and back) pain. Like D. said, the painkillers only take the edge off. All day, every day, I struggle against the pain to get just the basics done. So, I attribute it to Fibro.
Hypothyroidism, Fibromyalgia, Facet Joint Syndrome, High Blood Pressure, menopause, Migraines, Chest Pain, Anxiety and Depression/BiPolar II
Synthyroid .075mg., estradiol.5 mgs., Amyltriptilene, 100mgs, bedtime, Tylenol 3 PRN (six-eight, daily), Valium 7.5mgs. daily prn. Flexeril, prn (not so helpful), Zoloft,150mgs., Zomig approx. 12 per month, prn., Meds for High Blood Pressure, vary.


Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17101
   Posted 5/31/2009 1:57 PM (GMT -7)   
I crave sweets too.  That's what my body is telling me BUT it's giving me the wrong information, since I'm diabetic.  If I have too many carbs or if I give in to my sweet tooth, that makes me very tired.  Even if you aren't diabetic, these things will still raise your blood sugars and will make you tired.  I have enough problem with fatigue without doing more to myself.
 
But, Cathy, I know you can lose some weight and it has to help your knees.  You said that you felt the difference when you put on five pounds.  That five pounds makes a difference.  Just think how much better your knee might feel if you were able to get off 20 pounds.  I know I'd rather do that then surgery, too.
 
I was just like you.  I was put on my first weight loss program under a doctor's care when I was in fifth grade.  By seventh grade the idiot had me on diet pills.  By ninth grade I weighed 170 pounds!  I lost some in college but gained back many many pounds after I was married and had my three children.  My top weight was 265 pounds!!!!!  I've left that behind in a cloud of dust.  By watching the carbs I eat I can control how I eat and have been able to keep the weight off and it has kept my blood sugars in the normal ranges for 17 years.  I am having problems losing more and I need to lose more but I'm not burning the calories fast enough, thanks to fibromyalgia.   But I will keep trying and I hope you do too.  If you want to know what I do, feel free to email me and I'll let you know.
 
Sherrine 
 
 
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7


solar powered
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 538
   Posted 5/31/2009 2:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Cathy. I do have arthritic knees also. I had surgery to reconstruct my ACL and had several complications from that which took almost 2 years and 3 more surgeries to resolve. With the pain, etc I spent lots of time walking improperly often times on crutches or in a full leg brace. That caused huge problems with leg, hip and back pain on the opposite side from the surgery. After much PT, acupuncture, etc I learned that I had moderate to severe muscle compensation issues (lower crossed syndrome) from dealing with the complications. I am now seeing a physical rehab specialist who is working on correcting those imbalances by getting the tight muscles to release and the weak ones to do their jobs. It has been very helpful to me. You might be having something like that going on. It is fairly common post injury or ortho surgery. I was religious about doing my PT exercise also but found that they are no longer appropriate and cause problems for me so I only do what the rehab guy tells me to do now. I hope you are feeling better very soon. Lisa
Life is the ultimate contact sport. Train accordingly and play hard.


kelly71
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 726
   Posted 5/31/2009 3:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Cathy,

I have been suffering from what I call, "crunchy knee" for about 5+ years. What I mean is that when I bend my knee, it both sounds and feels like my bones are crunching against each other. LOL-it's a very good way to gross people out! smilewinkgrin When I walk, it makes a very loud popping noise. Last year when I was trying to get disability (still working on that, BTW), they took just a plain Xray of my knee and told me that there was no arthritis. But, I desperately need an MRI, because something is wrong. I don't need to be a doctor to know that the constant crunching and pain isn't normal. shakehead

Oh, I'll just be blunt and put it out there. I'm not overweight, I'm just plain fat! I have been heavy for most of my life (I'm 37). I am hoping to lose some weight this summer when I babysit my 2 new nieces (ages 8 & 10). We will be going to the pool & waterpark a lot, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to exercise easier in the water. Also, since I won't be home, I won't be tempted to eat all the time.

Unfortunately, I could lose all the weight in the world, but it won't reverse the damage I've already done to my knee. I just wish I had insurance so I could get this knee looked at. I have the feeling that surgery is in my future. sad

BTW-Robaxin is a muscle relaxer, not a pain med. I don't know if it would really help for your pain. But, what do I know? I can't feel your pain, so if it works for you then go for it! tongue

Anyway, sorry for babbling so much! Good luck, and I hope you find some answers! :-)
Fibro, Anxiety, Chronic Pain

Lyrica 150mg BID, Klonopin 1mg BID, Zoloft 100mg BID, Methadone 65mg (methadone maintenance-NOT for pain), Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo (BC pills), Ibuprofen 800mg QID prn, Prilosec OTC


I'll take the Chivas instead-Kelly Clarkson

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